May 26 2010 by Colin Paterson, Airdrie & Coatbridge
THE number of people unemployed and claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance in Monklands has dropped, according to new figures.
A report by the Office for National Statistics shows unemployment fell in the Airdrie & Shotts and Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill constituencies during April.
In Airdrie & Shotts, 5.9 per cent of the working population are now claiming benefit, a drop of 0.3 per cent (143 people) from March.
And in Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill, the figure is down 0.2 per cent (151 people) from 5.6 per cent in March to 5.4 per cent.
The number of people out of work and claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance in Airdrie & Shotts is 3,273 with the figure standing at 3,207 in Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill.
New Airdrie & Shotts MP Pamela Nash welcomed the latest set of figures for her area.
But the 25-year-old feels more must be done by the SNP administration at Holyrood to tackle and problem and she also voiced fears regarding the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat Westminster coalition.
“Every individual person who gets back into work is good news for them, their family, their community and the economy,” she said.
“However, I’m concerned that there is still a high number of unemployed people in our constituency and Scotland’s unemployment rate is higher than that of the rest of the UK.
“The SNP Scottish Government need to work harder to ensure that Scottish people’s jobs are protected, especially now that the Con-Dem coalition government are risking a double dip recession by announcing immediate cuts.”
Politicians for the Coatbridge and Chryston area were also remaining cautious as the country crawls out of recession.
Tom Clarke MP said: “Although I welcome the reduction, I still think the figures which represent people are too high.
“I will continue to press the government to ensure investment takes place in our constituency.”
Elaine Smith MSP called on the SNP administration to create more jobs through public investment and urged ministers to bring forward work on the new crime campus at Gartcosh.
“Unemployment remains an important issue in Coatbridge and Chryston,” she said. “There can be no room for complacency.
“At a time when the Scottish Government should be doing all it can to protect jobs, we’re seeing a massive fall in public investment projects.”
She added: “The SNP have cost the Scottish economy nearly £2 billion of investment since they came to power.
“Ministers could make an immediate contribution to employment by reversing their decision to cancel the Glasgow Airport Rail Link and by bringing forward work on the Gartcosh Crime Campus, which was started under the previous Labour-led administration.
“The delay in the crime campus is costing my constituency over 700 jobs.
“We need to do more to protect investment in education and apprenticeships in order that the people of Coatbridge and Chryston are afforded the best opportunities to find work.”