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Figures 'encouraging' says minister

Rise in Scots jobless but still down over the year

Unemployment in Scotland rose by 2,000 or 0.1% between July and September although the jobless rate is down by 0.8% over the year to 4% and remains lower than the UK average of 4.3%.

Scottish minster for Employability and Training Jamie Hepburn said: “These latest employment figures are encouraging and show Scotland has higher employment rates and lower unemployment rates than the UK with 88,000 more people in employment compared to the pre-recession peak.”

UK unemployment fell by 59,000 between July and September to 1.42 million.

Wage growth has edged up to 2.2% for the year to September, ahead of the 2.1% reported in the 12 months to August.

Productivity across the UK has grown for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2016.

Output per hour increased by 0.9% between July and September, the highest rate of growth since the second quarter of 2011.

Commenting on the labour market figures, which show real wages falling for the seventh month in a row, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady called on the Chancellor to take action in next week’s Budget.

She said: “This is the seventh month in a row that prices have risen faster than wages. But ministers are still standing on the side-lines.

“Running the economy is not a spectator sport – the Chancellor must have a game plan to give Britain a pay rise in next week’s Budget.

“Public sector workers are long overdue a decent pay rise. And we urgently need investment in high-skilled jobs to boost productivity.

“With in-work poverty soaring, the minimum wage must be put up to £10 as soon as possible.”

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