Number of Scottish unemployed rises by 9000

OfficeForNatStatsThe number of Scottish people out of work has risen by 9,000 in the three months to February.

The total number of people classed as unemployed north of the border now stands at 167,000, according to the data from the Office for National Statistics.

It means that the unemployment rate in Scotland is now 6 per cent, compared with 5.6 per cent for the UK as a whole.

It was the second rise in a row, following an increase of 6,000 in the previous set of figures.

The official statistics also showed unemployment across the UK as a whole falling by 76,000 to 1.84 million.

Employment was up by 3,000 to reach 2,615,000.

The employment rate in Scotland now stands at 74.2 per cent, still above the UK average of 73.4 per cent.

The number of people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance in Scotland fell by 1,400 between February and March to reach 78,400.

The claimant count figure is 26,600 lower than a year ago and is now at its lowest level since July 2008.

Between December and February, the number of those economically active - which includes both people in work and looking for work in Scotland’s labour market - increased to a record high of 2,782,000.

Liz Cameron
Liz Cameron

Scottish Chambers of Commerce chief executive Liz Cameron said: “Once again we have some mixed news in terms of unemployment in Scotland.

“Obviously, it is disappointing that unemployment has risen again and that Scotland’s unemployment rate is higher than that of the UK as a whole.

“Against that, however, it is more encouraging that employment levels are rising and that there are more than 2.6 million people in work in Scotland.

“This underlines the need to ensure that Scotland’s skills provision and careers advice is right in order to maximise employment opportunities and reduce levels of inactivity and under-employment.”


Grahame Smith, general secretary of the STUC said: “The recovery in the Scottish labour market appears to be stalling with today’s figures confirming another rise in unemployment and only a marginal increase in employment. These statistics should give Government at all levels pause to reflect on both their overly optimistic assessments of the labour market and policies required to boost employment.


“Ostensibly better news is to be found in the 20 per cent drop in youth unemployment figures over the year to December 2014. However with relatively weak employment growth for young people, the fall inunemployment is being driven by rising economic inactivity. The fall in youth unemployment will not be worth celebrating if young people are simply leaving the workforce and not entering education or training.


“Over the past two years of the recovery the remarkable feature of the Scottish labour market has been the surge in women’s employment. The male employment rate has been static while the female rate has increased by 4.7 per cent; around two and a half times the UK average. Whilst the increase in women’s participation is welcome the STUC continues to have serious concerns over the quality and security of the jobs being created.”

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