Stirling-Based Unemployment Claimants Increase By 79% Since Lockdown


Categories: News

Official figures from the House of Commons Library has shown a significant increase in the number of claimants of unemployment benefits (Universal Credit and Jobseekers Allowance) in the Stirling area when January 2020 is compared with January 2021.

In January 2020, the number of claimants in the Stirling area was 1,485. This increased by 1,185 over the year to 2,680 in January 2021 – a 79% increase among those aged 16-64.

Unemployment among 18-24 year olds has increased by 85% during that time, with 295 claimants in January 2020, rising by 250 to 545 by January 2021.

The current claimant rate for the Stirling area is 4.4%. That figure for the UK average is 6.4%.

Commenting, Stirling MP Alyn Smith said:

“This is a significant increase in the number of people having to claim unemployment support. Sadly, this is not an unexpected increase.

“The data from the House of Commons Library shows that the majority of this increase happened in the period between March and May last year. This means almost immediately many people who were in employment were left in freefall as the employment support mechanisms announced by the UK government didn’t apply to them.

“Over the past 10 months, I have spoken to many people in this situation across the Stirling constituency. These are people who, through no fault of their own, either didn’t qualify for support, or their employer was unable to keep them on after the lockdown restrictions came into force.

“Stirling has always been the place to do business, meaning that in normal times it offers great employment and investment opportunities. I want to see us get back to that, which is why we need to tread with caution as we come out of the lockdown restrictions over the next few weeks and months.

“In the meantime, it is vital that the Chancellor offers support where it needs to be. I will be listening very carefully to the UK Budget at the beginning of next month, as my SNP colleagues and I continue to call on the government to extend support to those who have been left behind.”


Photograph: Alyn Smith MP outside Stirling Job Centre