Scotland boasts lowest female unemployment in Europe



07 May 2011..Annabelle Ewing MSP Mid Scotland and Fife / Scottish National Party pictured in the garden lobby during the MSP registration session. Pic - Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament
Annabelle Ewing

Scotland has the lowest rate of female unemployment of any country in Europe with the female unemployment rate at 4 per cent, according to new data.

The figures also show Scotland has the second highest female employment rate at 71.3 per cent, with only Sweden higher at 72.6 per cent.

The data is based on the recent release of quarterly unemployment statistics by Eurostat, covering the period October to December 2014.

Scotland’s female unemployment rate for the period stood at 4 per cent, just ahead of Germany (4.5 per cent), with the wider UK rate of 5.3 per cent ranked alongside Austria and Malta in third.

Minister for youth and women’s employment Annabelle Ewing said: “We have recently seen record levels of female employment in Scotland and the gap between male and female employment is also near a record low.

“In addition, we are leading the way with our commitment to 50:50 boards, supporting flexible working patterns to accommodate working parents and carers and other innovative support programmes such as support for women in enterprise, promotion of careers for women in STEM subjects.

“Gender balance isn’t just the right thing to do, it makes smart business sense. We need, however, to remove the gender gap entirely, encourage more women into senior positions and to set out in businesses of their own, as well as helping those actively seeking a job into employment.

“The rewards for this will be great. We would have industries that would better reflect our society and see an extra £7 billion added to our economy if the number of women-led businesses matched that of men. We need to champion female role models in every aspect of business, open every possible pathway into work and debunk the myth that there are jobs specifically for boys or girls.

“Re-entering the labour market has become a more attractive prospect for more people, especially women, but there is absolutely no room for complacency when it comes to continuing our drive to create high quality jobs across the country.

“The Eurostat figures are worth celebrating. We are seeing attitudes change and respected, successful business leaders championing the benefits of being innovative with working practices that support all employees. I hope that any young women seeing how well we compare with other European countries will be inspired to pursue the career they want without any reservations and know that they have a place at the heart of our society, industry and economy.”