UNEMPLOYMENT in the over 50s across the Borders has soared over the past 12 months.

Despite claimants for Jobseekers Allowance and Universal Credit continuing to drop in the region each year - currently down more than five per cent from last year to 945 - the number of over 50s looking for work has increased by more than 10 per cent.

Latest figures from the Department of Work and Pensions show that a total of 295 Borderers in their 50s and 60s are signing on.

At the Galashiels Jobcentre the number of unemployed over 50s has risen by over 13 per cent to 170, it's up by over 14 per cent to 40 in Eyemouth, and the Hawick Jobcentre has witnessed a hike of more than six per cent to 85.

While the figures for the older job hunter are disappointing, the number of under 50s looking for work has continued to drop.

There are now 235 Borders between 18- and 24-years-old who are actively seeking employment.

And the 25- to 50-year-olds is down on last year by more than 13 per cent to 415.

Marjorie Russell from the Department of Work and Pensions told us: "The employment rate in the Scottish Borders - at 74.7 per cent - is higher than both the Scottish and UK averages.

"We are working with clients just now ahead to prepare them for the types of work which is becoming available."