THE number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance in the Borders has dropped over the past year.

ONS statistics released this week showed that the claimant count for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk stood at 1,827 on the 12th of July, down 0.2% from the previous year.

Local MSP John Lamont has welcomed the drop, but has warned that there is still a lot to do if we are to see more Borderers find employment.

He said: "The drop in Job Seekers Allowance claimants is welcoming and shows that more people in the Borders are able to gain employment. The current job market is incredibly tough at the present moment and to see any drop in claimants is undoubtedly good news.

"However, we still have far too many people who are willing and able to work in the Borders, but who simply cannot find a job. There are also many people in the region who are underemployed - in either part-time work or in a position that they are overqualified for.

"While unemployment figures in Scotland and the UK are moving in the right direction, we need to see more done to create new jobs. If we are to improve the economy in the Borders and start creating new opportunities, we need both the Scottish and UK Governments to work together and to do everything they can to help boost the economy."