Scotland’s employment rate rises to 73.9% from June to August

For the period June to August 2020, Scotland’s employment rate estimate rose over the quarter to 73.9%, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). 

Scotland's employment rate rises to 73.9% from June to August

Over the same period, the unemployment rate estimate stayed the same at 4.5%.

HMRC early estimates for September 2020 for Scotland, published for the first time this morning, show that there were 2,329,000 payrolled employees, decreasing by 2.7% compared with September 2019.

Across the UK as a whole, the unemployment rate reached its highest level in over three years growing to 4.5% compared with 4.1% in the previous quarter.

At the same time, redundancies across the UK rose to their highest level since 2009. ONS data has revealed that an estimated 1.5 million people were unemployed in the UK between June and August, while redundancies stood at 227,000.

Jamie Hepburn, minister for business, fair work and skills, commented on the figures: “I know this is a very worrying time for many people, particularly those working in sectors most affected by the pandemic. Last week the Scottish Government launched the £25 million National Transition Training Fund to help up to 10,000 people aged 25 and over, who have lost their jobs or are at risk of redundancy as a result of the virus, to develop the skills required to move into sectors with the greatest potential for future growth and job opportunities.

“To give young people the chance to succeed, we will ensure everyone aged between 16 and 24 has the opportunity of work, education or training through Scotland’s Young Person’s Guarantee.

“We have also launched a £40 million fund to help businesses affected by temporary restrictions to slow the spread of the virus, which will help to protect jobs over the coming fortnight.”

He added: “We are doing everything we can with the limited powers available to us to support people through this crisis - but it is essential that the UK Government also plays its part. We have repeatedly called on the UK Government to extend the furlough scheme, and stop avoidable job losses. It is clear that the new Job Support Scheme is far less generous than the furlough scheme and does not go far enough.”

Tracy Black, CBI Scotland director, said: “The latest figures from the ONS show that unemployment in Scotland remained stable and in line with the UK average.

“With many businesses – particularly in hospitality – being subject to renewed restrictions, firms need to be able to access the business support measures outlined by the UK and Scottish governments as quickly as possible. While that should help stave off the worst effects on the local labour market, many firms are aware that a tough winter lies ahead.”

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