Scotland’s employment rate fell to 74.3% from November to January

For November to January 2021, Scotland’s employment rate estimate fell over the quarter to 74.3%, according to the latest Labour Market Statistics released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Scotland's employment rate fell to 74.3% from November to January

The figures also revealed that Scotland’s unemployment rate estimate fell slightly over the quarter to 4.1%.

Separate HMRC early estimates for February 2021, also published this morning, show there were 2,331,000 payrolled employees in Scotland, 65,000 lower than a year ago.

For the rest of the UK, the number of unemployed people rose by just 11,000 in the three months to January, while the unemployment rate edged back to 5.0%.

However, this was due to the number of economically inactive people rising by 136,000. Employment fell 147,000 in the three months to January. However, HMRC and ONS Pay as You Earn Real Time Information data indicate that the number of paid employees in February was up 68,000 from January.

Responding to the announcement, Jamie Hepburn, minister for business, fair work and skills, said: These figures reflect some of the challenges faced in Scotland’s labour market to date but they do not reflect the full impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) or the outlook for employment as the Job Retention Scheme continues to help support jobs. It is crucial the UK Government keep this scheme in place for as long as it is needed.

“The Scottish Government continues to directly support employers across Scotland to protect as many jobs and livelihoods as possible, allocating over £3 billion to help businesses since the start of this pandemic. More than half a billion pounds in lifeline support has been paid to Scottish businesses affected by the pandemic since November 2020 alone.

“We recognise young people have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic, and our Young Person’s Guarantee has so far created around 18,000 additional opportunities for people aged between 16 and 24 to help them into work, education or training.

“Meanwhile, the National Transition Training Fund is helping up to 10,000 people across Scotland who are unemployed or at risk of redundancy due to COVID-19, retrain and develop the skills they need to secure their future employment. We will continue to expand these programmes to ensure more opportunities are available to the people who need them.”

He added: “The continued progress of the vaccination programme is allowing us to set out more detail on re-opening the economy, and our timetable for lifting restrictions, published last week, will give businesses the clarity they need to prepare.

“We will continue to take every step within our power to create a stronger, more resilient, sustainable economy for Scotland.”

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