Over four per cent are still out of work

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The number of unemployed people in Falkirk has fallen for the second year in a row, according to figures released this week.

Collated by the Office for National statistics, the figures show that, in June, 4223 people in the district claimed Job Seekers Allowance, compared with more than 4500 for the same month last year, a fall of six per cent.

Youth unemployment has seen the biggest decline – dropping by 11 per cent since 2012.

However, the figures are still much higher than in 2008, when there were just over 2000 people out of work, and Falkirk Council ranks at number 20 out of 32 local authorities.

Councillor Dennis Goldie, spokesperson for economic development at Falkirk Council, welcomed the figures and believes that future investments will help to improve job prospects in the area.

He said: “Any reduction in unemployment is good news for the area, particularly for young people. We have made a big investment in young people locally and we have got to see a return on that.”

Mr Goldie also believes winning Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) will be a boost for the town.

The scheme would involve borrowing money to make key areas, including the 150-acre Falkirk Gateway site, Earls Gate Park, Abbotsford Business Park and Falkirk Stadium, attractive to developers.

Over the next 25 years it could create 6000 construction sector jobs.

Mr Goldie added: “We are hopefully about to see the TIF scheme being approved by the Scottish Government enabling us to borrow money to prepare sites and we are very hopeful that will bring a lot of jobs to the area.

“However, while inward investment is fine, the other problem is trying to hang on to the jobs that are here already.”