North east Scotland sees biggest rise in unemployment benefits

The number of people claiming unemployment benefit has risen faster in north-east Scotland than anywhere else in the UK, House of Commons figures show.

Aberdeen and areas in the north east have seen unemployment benefit claimants rise faster than anywhere else in the UK. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Claimants almost doubled in Banff and Buchan (up 97.5 per cent) and West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine (up 94.9 per cent), according to the briefing paper by the House of Commons Library.

Six north-east constituencies are at the top of the table of UK areas that have seen the largest annual percentage change in claimants in the year to June 2016.

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Gordon saw the third biggest change (84.3 per cent) in the UK, followed by Orkney and Shetland (59 per cent), Aberdeen South (53.7 per cent) and Aberdeen North (49.3 per cent).

Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey (24.1 per cent); Moray (19.4 per cent); Angus (13.4 per cent); Ross, Skye and Lochaber (5 per cent) and Dundee West (4.9 per cent) were also amongst the worst-performing areas in Scotland for claimant rises.

Tamworth, near Birmingham, saw the biggest rise outside of Scotland at 34.8 per cent.

The figures reveal the regional variations in people claiming jobseeker’s allowance and universal credit across the UK’s 650 constituencies.

East Lothian is in the top ten UK constituencies that have seen the biggest fall in claimants (30.3 per cent), with the seventh biggest fall in the UK.

Constituencies in west of Scotland also saw some of the biggest drops in the number of claimants.

A number of constituencies to the south-west of Glasgow, as well as Rutherglen and Dumfries and Galloway, were in the bottom quantile for annual changes in claimant indicating significant falls.