FEWER people in Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire are claiming out-of-work benefits, latest figures show.

The number of benefit claimants in East Renfrewshire has dropped by more than half since 2010, from 1,538 to 695.

And the year-on-year figures also make for positive reading, as 55 fewer people made a claim.

In neighbouring Renfrewshire, there has been a 40 per cent reduction since 2010, with the total now standing at 3,360.

Figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions also show there are now fewer young people out of work in both regions.

There were 175 benefit claims made by East Renfrewshire residents aged between 18 and 24 last month – a drop of 13 per cent from the previous year and down by 64 per cent from 2010.

Youth unemployment in Renfrewshire stood at 645 last month – down by 10 per cent from 2016 and by 60 per cent from 2010.

The local picture is in line with the national trend, which has seen Scotland’s unemployment rate fall to 3.8 per cent.

The jobless rate went down by 0.2 per cent in the period from May to July.

Over the same period, the UK unemployment rate also fell by 0.2 per cent to 4.3 per cent, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell has welcomed the latest figures and vowed to continue to implement policies that will help to bring down unemployment.

He said: “It is very encouraging that Scotland’s employment has reached a record high and that unemployment remains at a historic low.

“More people in work means more money in people’s pockets and that’s good news.

“However, we cannot afford to be complacent. With Scotland’s overall economic performance continuing to lag behind that of the UK, it is imperative that our two governments work together.

“I also urge the Scottish Government to use its extensive powers to boost prosperity.”