Scottish rate lower than the UK’s.
New figures show Scotland’s unemployment levels fell by 15,000 over the most recent quarter to 123,000, with the rate down 0.5 percentage points to 4.5%.
The Labour Market Statistics for December to February 2017, published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that Scotland’s unemployment rate is now below the UK’s which stands at 4.7%.
Other key statistics include:
• The employment rate recorded a small decrease of 0.1 percentage points over the quarter to 73.4% with 2,596,000 people now in employment – 31,000 above the pre-recession peak
• Female employment rates in Scotland stand at 70.1% which is above the UK
• Scotland continues to outperform the UK on youth unemployment rates and youth employment rates
• Over the year the youth unemployment rate fell by 6.9 percentage points to 8.9%, with 32,000 less young people unemployed compared to the same period in 2016
Minister for Employability and Training Jamie Hepburn said:
“Despite economic challenges these latest figures show Scotland’s labour market remains resilient with unemployment falling and our female employment rates and youth unemployment rates outperforming the UK.
“While we are doing all we can to support employment, clearly the biggest threat to Scotland’s labour market continues to be a hard Brexit, which threatens to cost our economy up to £11 billion a year from 2030, and cost the country 80,000 jobs over a decade. The Scottish Government will continue to pursue all options to retain our relationship with Europe, our place in the single market and all the advantages that brings.
“We recognise that there are still many barriers to get people into work which is why our priority is to support Scotland’s economy by stimulating investment in new and early-stage business through our £500 million Scottish Growth Scheme and investing in our £6 billion infrastructure plan.
“Our Scottish approach to apprenticeships and training, and actions to tackle the gender pay gap is setting us apart from the rest of the UK while we are committed to increasing participation in the labour market.
“Having a long-term illness or disability is the most common reason for those aged 16 to 64 being economically inactive so our aim is to take a fairer approach to getting people into work through our newly devolved employability services which will support people with health conditions and disabilities. The transitional services Work First Scotland and Work Able Scotland launched earlier this month and we are on track to deliver a distinctly Scottish programme of support, Fair Start Scotland, from April 2018.”