Hundreds fewer people claiming unemployment benefits in Falkirk and West Lothian council areas

Hundreds fewer people in the Falkirk and West Lothian council areas were claiming unemployment benefits in September than the month before, figures show.

Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 6:00 am
Stock photo: PA.

Office for National Statistics data shows 4,680 people in West Lothian were claiming out-of-work benefits as of September 9, down from 5,135 in August.

It means four per cent of West Lothian’s working-age population sought support in September – down from 4.4 per cent the previous month.

However, it was 6,835 more than the number of claimants recorded in September last year.

In the Falkirk Council area, 4,440 people were claiming out-of-work benefits as of September 9, down from 4,835 in August.

It means 4.4 per cent of Falkirk’s working-age population sought support in September – down from 4.7 per cent the previous month.

And it was also 1,555 fewer than the number of claimants recorded in September last year.

National figures, which are adjusted to account for seasonal changes, show the number of people seeking help across the UK fell by 80,000 month on month to 2.1 million in September.

The ONS said the number of payrolled workers rose by 207,000 nationally between August and September to a record 29.2 million – higher than levels seen before the pandemic struck in February 2020.

Different ONS figures show the rate of unemployment fell further to 4.5 per cent between June and August, down from 4.6 per cent in the quarter to July and the lowest level for a year.

Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics at the ONS, said: “The jobs market has continued to recover from the effects of the coronavirus, with the number of employees on payroll in September now well exceeding pre-pandemic levels.

“Vacancies also reached a new one-month record in September, at nearly 1.2 million, with our latest estimates suggesting that all industries have at least as many jobs on offer now as before the onset of Covid-19.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “As we move to the next stage of our support, it’s encouraging to see our Plan for Jobs working , there are more employees on payrolls than ever before and the unemployment rate has fallen for eight months in a row.”