Labour market statistics

2,653,000 people in employment.

Scotland’s employment rate grew by 1.7 percentage points over the last year - to August to October 2017 – to 74.9%. There are now 2,653,000 people aged 16 years and above in employment.

Labour Market Statistics, released today by ONS today, show:

  • Scotland’s employment rate decreased over the quarter to 74.9%, just below the UK rate of 75.1%.
  • 114,000 people were unemployed, with the unemployment rate at 4.1%, below the UK rate of 4.3%.
  • Over the quarter, inactivity rates increased by 0.7 percentage points to 21.8%  just above the UK rate of 21.5%.
  • Over the quarter Scotland’s female employment rate remained the same at 72.3%, higher than the UK rate of 70.8%.
  • Over the year youth unemployment decreased by 2.7 percentage points to 9.7%, lower than the UK at 13.0%. 

Minster for Employability and Training Jamie Hepburn said:

“This month’s Labour Market Statistics show Scotland has a lower unemployment rate than the UK, and 89,000 more people in employment compared to the pre-recession peak.

“While these latest figures show that employment is up by 1.7 percentage points over the year, it is disappointing to see a slight fall in employment and a slight rise in unemployment over the last quarter.

“However, our overall unemployment rate remains lower than the UK’s and it is also encouraging to see youth unemployment rates continuing to outperform the rest of the UK. This comes on top of us fulfilling our commitment to reduce youth unemployment by 40%, four years ahead of schedule.  It is also encouraging to see that female employment in Scotland continues to remain higher and unemployment lower, than the rest of the UK.

“The most recent Markit Report on Jobs for Scotland also indicate that in November Scotland experienced the highest rate of growth in permanent job appointments since October 2014, outperforming the UK as a whole.

“We’re working to make sure newly devolved powers are being used to support those who need it most. Statistics published this month show in the first six months 3,459 people joined our transitional employability services which support individuals with disabilities and health conditions – a strong start which shows how we’re delivering a fairer and more targeted employment support service.

“The real risk to Scotland’s economy comes from a hard Brexit. We are continuing to press for a less damaging approach to Brexit, which keeps the UK in the single market and customs union.”


Labour market statistics

The Scottish Government’s document looking at the key issues from the point of view of businesses.


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