BEING unemployed and being on jobseeker's allowance are two entirely different things.
That's the forthright view of local expert Denis Hackett.
The manager of the Cumbernauld and Kilsyth Unemployed Workers Centre feels the latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics could be very misleading.
They show that, on November 11, the number of JSA claimants in both towns had reduced by 169, nearly 10 per cent, to 1632, since May of this year.
That also means that, since the same point last year, the number of claimants has reduced by 1.2 per cent from 1652.
Denis said: "It's not a surprise to me because the way things are, they're forcing people into a situation where they're taken off the list.
"Just because people come off the list doesn't mean they're working.
"You only get it for six months then you can go onto means tested benefits which means if your wife or husband are still working you won't get anything."
On December 1 we reported that new figures showed unemployment in the area has doubled to 4000.
Denis says, if jobseeker's allowance truly supported those who are out of work, the number of claimants would closely mirror the trend of the unemployment figures.
He added: "When you have a situation where unemployment is going up and (the number of people claiming] jobseeker's allowance is going down, that really speaks for itself about how the system is set-up.
"They don't tell people that's the way it works, they only say there's things there to support people when they find themselves out of a job."
Meanwhile, funeral directors Paterson Hughes have arranged with the Cumbernauld and Kilsyth Unemployed Workers Centre to help those out of work to afford funeral costs.
The centre can refer people in need of assistance to Paterson Hughes, who won't ask for payment up front and will cut costs down where possible.