The number of Universal Credit claimants in November was 1,483, up by 49 in a year. However, this figure is down by 812 (35 per cent) from 2013.
Meanwhile, Graham King from Dalkeith Job Centre, gave an update on the local job market. He said: “While December was a quiet month in terms of large scale recruitment in Midlothian, both Penicuik and Dalkeith Jobcentre Plus customers fed into seasonal recruitment throughout Edinburgh, such as Underbelly, Royal Mail and other vacancies in the retail and hospitality sectors.
“The care and construction sectors will be the main growth areas for Midlothian in 2019, and Jobcentre partnership teams will continue to engage with partners, agencies and employers to maximise opportunities for our customers.
“With a major residential and school development proposed at Kippielaw in Dalkeith proposed construction will also be high on the agenda in the Midlothian area (as well as multiple developments in the Edinburgh area).
“Jobcentre Plus staff will look to maximise training and employment opportunities for our customers and work with local employers and training providers to support this aim.”