Experts Predict More Jobs Gloom with Dole Queue Rise of 8,000

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Byline: Michael Blackley Scottish Political Reporter

ANOTHER 8,000 Scots will join the dole queue by the end of this summer, a report by a respected think-tank has warned.

More job cuts by public and private sector firms will force thousands onto benefits.

And it will add to the competition for jobs, with up to 35 people now chasing every vacancy in some parts of the country.

The latest report by the respected IPPR think-tank has predicted that Scotland will continue to see unemployment soar faster than many other parts of the UK.

It adds to predictions that almost one in ten Scots will be out of work by the end of this year as unemployment surges towards 250,000.

The report, which analyses recent trends and Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecasts to predict regional job patterns, estimates that unemployment will not peak until September.

Richard Darlington, of IPPR, said: 'Given the forecast by the Office of Budgetary Responsibility, we can predict that there will be thousands more job losses in Scotland this year.

'Our best estimate is that there could be as many as 8,000, as the UK unemployment rate rises from 8.3 per cent to 8.7 per cent.' Scotland has an unemployment rate of 8.7 per cent, which is higher than the UK average.

There are now 234,000 jobless Scots, and 18,000 more people out of work than at the start of 2011.

Ken Macintosh, Scottish Labour's finance spokesman, said: 'If anyone was in any doubt about the scale of Scotland's unemployment crisis, these highly concerning forecasts will be a wake-up call.

'Scottish families worried about the future will be looking for some sort of response to these huge job losses coming down the line.

'Sadly, Scotland is caught between a Tory government determined to impose deep cuts and an SNP government distracted by the referendum and incapable of getting the country's jobs crisis under control. …