New Borders unemployment figures have shown signs of improvement yet remain significantly higher than before the pandemic.
In October 2020 there were 3020 claimants of unemployment related benefits, which was 5.4% of the working age population. This is well below the UK average of 6.3%.
The number of claimants is 120 lower than in September 2020, but is 1325 higher than they were before lockdown began in March of this year.
Youth unemployment figures also showed a slight improvement. There were 690 claimants aged 18-24 in October, 15 lower than the previous month. However, it is 305 higher than in March.
John Lamont MP said: “It’s been a very tough year for jobs and businesses because of the restrictions of lockdown.
“Sadly, the number of people who are unemployed is almost double that of before lockdown which really highlights the problems businesses have been facing this year.
“However, perhaps we are starting to see the first green shoots of growth with a small decrease in the unemployment figures.
“But there is still a long way to go. With restrictions set to continue for many months to come there will be no quick fixes.
“UK Government schemes such as furlough have provided job security for thousands in the Borders and will do so until March.
“However, it is clear that governments of all levels need to work together on a plan to ensure rural areas like the Borders can build back better.”