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Scots jobless rate now lower than across UK

JobCentreScotland’s jobless rate has fallen below the UK figure, giving some relief to the Holyrood government in its attempts to kickstart the sluggish economy.

Unemployment in Scotland has fallen by more than 1% over the quarter to reach 4.7% – and is now below the UK rate which is unchanged at 4.9% , according to the latest ONS statistics published today.

There are 51,000 more people in jobs in Scotland, rising  to 2,631,000 – the largest quarterly rise on record.

Key figures:

• The employment rate has increased to 74.1%, with the employment level rising 51,000 over the quarter

• The unemployment rate fell by 1.1 percentage points over the quarter to 4.7% and is now below that of the UK at 4.9%

• The unemployment level also fell by 29,000 over the quarter to reach 130,000

• Scotland continues to outperform the UK on female employment, unemployment and inactivity rates

• The youth unemployment rate fell by 2.8 percentage points over the year to reach 12.4%, outperforming the UK at 13.6%.

  • The umber of people employed in the public sector across the UK. It is down to 5.33m, the lowest level since the Office for National Statistics started collecting the figures in 1999 and a drop of 13,000 since March.

Commenting on the statistics while visiting Standard Life to meet apprentices, Economy Secretary Keith Brown, said: “As the First Minister stated when launching the Programme for Government earlier this month, the Scottish Government is determined to build an economy where everyone has a fair chance to contribute and share in the benefits of economic growth.

“These encouraging figures continue to show that the fundamentals of the Scottish economy are strong.

“While these figures are welcome the Scottish Government is absolutely committed to taking further action. Our Labour Market Strategy shows that there is still more that we can and will do.

“As businesses continue to face the ongoing uncertainty created by the UK-wide vote to leave the EU, our planned £500 million Scottish Growth Fund is designed to support them, the workforce and the economy to grow. The fund will enable small and medium-sized firms to access investment that would otherwise remain out of reach.

“In addition, £100 million will be injected into our capital spending plans this year, providing a significant boost to the £6 billion worth of projects already under construction, and supporting activity and jobs in key sectors of the Scottish economy.

“The statistics also continue to show that Scotland is outperforming the rest of the UK in terms of youth employment and I am very pleased that the female employment rate has risen over the quarter, a testament to our work to ensure women have the same equality of opportunities in the labour market as their male counterparts.”

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