Figures worse than UK average

Hepburn blames Brexit as Scottish jobs outlook weakens

Jamie Hepburn

Jamie Hepburn: ‘There are some things the Scottish Government cannot mitigate’ (pic: Terry Murden)

Scottish Business Minister Jamie Hepburn blamed Brexit as new figures showed the number of people in jobs in Scotland over the last three months fell more sharply than the UK average.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics indicated that the number of people in employment across the UK fell by 0.2% (56,000) to 75.9% (32.69 million). Employment in Scotland fell by 1.4% to 74.3%.

Unemployment across the UK increased by 0.1% to 3.9% (1.31m) while it rose by 0.8% to 4.1% in Scotland.

The ONS said employment growth had “cooled noticeably”.

However, wages continued to outpace the rate of inflation, with earnings excluding bonuses growing at an annual pace of 3.8%.

 Scottish Business Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “Brexit is having an increasingly negative impact on Scotland’s economy and labour market, and that is demonstrated by these figures.

“There are some things the Scottish Government cannot mitigate. But within the limit of our powers we are working as hard as possible to prevent damage to Scotland’s jobs, businesses and economy being inflicted by a UK Government-led Brexit.

“We will continue working to create the right economic conditions for employment, such as our ‘Prepare for Brexit’ campaign – helping build economic resilience through grants which support businesses to have response plans in place.”

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