1,315 more people are out of work now in Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City than at this time in 2016. Figures show an increase of 27% with the total number of unemployed people reaching 6,145 or 1.9%.
Monthly statistics for the North East released by Mackay Consultants also show that unemployment has risen by 31.8% for the Aberdeen Travel to Work Area (TTWA) over the same period.
North East Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Rumbles said: “Changes to unemployment levels is one of the best indicators of how our local economy is performing, so these signs are troubling. Overall our unemployment remains low compared to many parts of the country but coupled with the dramatic fall in wages we have seen in recent years it means a lot less money going into our economy overall.
“We have heard a lot of talk from our governments in Edinburgh and London, but very little action. It’s all very well to pay lip-service to the North East but what we really need is investment in innovation and diversity to make the most of oil and gas while at the same time building new industries and creating long-term jobs for the future.
Westhill Liberal Democrat Councillor Iris Walker added: “Usually an increase in unemployment of this kind could be weathered by our local economy, but the North East is still extremely vulnerable to changes in global markets and 1,300 more people unemployed is a cause for concern.
“Our local services are being squeezed through SNP cuts to council budgets and at the same time our local industries and businesses have been told to pay more in rates to the Scottish Government than ever before.
“Our local economy has been amazingly resilient through the oil and gas downturn, but many families are struggling to make ends meet and there is less money circulating in our other industries and employers.”