jobless at lowest for eight years

Scottish unemployment falls below UK average

David MundellUnemployment in Scotland fell by 25,000 to below the UK rate, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data released today.

The Scottish unemployment rate is 4.6%, which is below the rate of 4.9% for the whole of the UK.

Figures for the the last quarter show there are 127,000 on the jobs register.

The labour market statistics also show that employment in Scotland fell by 8,000 over the three months to August 2016. The number of those in employment in Scotland now stands at 2,618,000. 

Scottish Secretary David Mundell, said: “I am pleased to see unemployment falling again in Scotland, and it is now at its lowest level since 2008. But it is worrying that employment is down and more people are dropping out of the labour market in Scotland when the rest of the UK is seeing employment up. 

“The levers to shape the Scottish economy are there for the Scottish government to pull. They need to start focusing on the day job and how they can use their new powers to support the Scottish economy.

“Because these are not just statistics – behind the fall in employment and rise in economic inactivity are thousands of people in Scotland who deserve the security and opportunity that a job brings.”

Andy Willox, the FSB’s Scottish policy convenor, said: “Unemployment in Scotland is now at its lowest level since the economic crisis. While we’ve still got to strive to boost the proportion of adults in work, this is good news.

“The challenge for our political leaders is to think first about the impact on smaller firms, jobs and local economies when they’re making key decisions.”

Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) have called upon Government to invest in the skills that business needs to deliver higher levels of productivity. 

Liz CameronLiz Cameron (right), chief executive of SCC, said: “These latest figures present a mixed picture of the Scottish economy.  The large fall in unemployment is good news but overall levels of employment in Scotland have fallen, economic inactivity is rising, as has the number of those claiming benefits.

“Against a background of Scottish economic growth which has lagged below overall UK growth levels since April 2015, it is clear that challenges remain to be addressed, including the need to grow Scotland’s productivity, which remains low by international standards. 

“Businesses are telling us that there are significant opportunities to grow employment in the future, not least in Scotland’s digital sector.  Our education and skills funders and providers need to fully understand where these opportunities lie and deliver the support to enable people with the right skills to satisfy the needs of business. 

“We will be looking for a clear recognition and response to this when the Scottish Government sets out its budget plans later this year.” 

Headline statistics for the June to August 2016 quarter:

Employment in Scotland fell by 8,000 over the quarter, and increased by 7,000 over the year, to stand at 2,618,000.

The Scots employment rate fell by 0.1% over the quarter to 74.%. The rate is below the UK average of 74.5%.

Unemployment in Scotland fell by 25,000 over the quarter and is down 44,000 over the year.  The level now stands at 127,000.

At 4.6%, the Scottish unemployment rate is now below the UK’s rate of 4.9%.

Economic activity fell by 32,000 over the quarter and now stands at 2,745,000. Also, the economic activity rate decreased over the year to stand at 77.7%.

In September, the number of people out of work and claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance was 55,000 and claimant count, including Universal Credit was 81,900.


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