Scottish unemployment drops by further 7,000

Jamie Hepburn

Jamie Hepburn

Scotland’s jobless total fell by 7,000 in the three months to July, to stand at 102,000.

The unemployment rate fell by 0.3 per cent from the previous quarter to reach 3.8 per cent – below the UK figure of 4.3 per cent.

The number of people in work rose by 60,000 to 2,587,000, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Scotland now has the highest employment rate out of any UK nation after the Labour Market Statistics, released today by ONS, showed Scotland’s employment rate rose by 1.8 percentage points over the quarter to 75.8 per cent, meaning there are 49,000 more people in work than the previous quarter. This is above the UK rate of 75.3 per cent.

There are now over three quarters of people aged 16-64 in employment.

Meanwhile, wages in the period were 2.1 per cent higher than a year earlier, little changed from previous months’ growth rates.

With inflation hitting 2.9 per cent in August, wages are failing to keep up. In real terms, wages dropped by 0.4 per cent.

Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “These are the latest encouraging figures for Scotland’s economy and labour market – employment has never been higher and unemployment has never been lower.

“There are now 109,000 more people in employment compared to the pre-recession peak and Scotland now has the highest employment rate in the UK.

“Our unemployment rate remains a success story, showing that the labour market remains resilient and robust.

“With the most recent GDP figures showing the Scottish economy grew nearly four times that of the UK in the first quarter of this year, today’s labour market figures are further proof that the fundamentals of Scotland’s economy remain strong, despite the challenges posed by Brexit.”

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: “It is very encouraging that Scotland’s employment has reached a record high and that unemployment remains at a historic low.

“More people in work means more money in people’s pockets and that’s good news.

“However, we cannot afford to be complacent. With Scotland’s overall economic performance continuing to lag behind that of the UK, it is imperative that our two governments work together.

“I also urge the Scottish government to use their extensive powers to boost Scotland’s prosperity.”

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