Unemployment in Scotland drops by 14,000
Scottish unemployment decreased by 14,000 to 96,000 in the final quarter of last year, according to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) Labour Market Overview.
The unemployment rate for people aged 16 and over currently stands at 3.5%, compared with 3.8% for the rest of the UK collectively.
The ONS also revealed that the number of people aged 16 and over in employment increased by 37,000, to stand at 2,680,000.
The statistics also highlighted that Scotland employment rate of 75% was below the UK figure of 76.5%.
This data was announced at the same time as weekly pay reached £512 in the last quarter of last year, marking the highest rate since the economic crisis of 2008.
Similarly, excluding bonus rates, earnings across the UK increased at an annual rate of 3.2% in the three-month period. according to the labour market statistics.
The figures also indicated that the number of women in employment rose once more, this time by 150,000 in the final quarter, reaching a record high of 15.61 million.
Commenting on the latest labour market statistics, Jamie Hepburn, business minister, said: “These results show that, through our Labour Market Strategy, Scotland continues to see the benefits of a strong and inclusive labour market. Scotland’s employment rate rose over the quarter to 75.0% and remains close to the highest on record.
“As we set out in the Programme for Government, we will continue to make Scotland’s workplaces fairer through our work to tackle the gender pay gap, reduce the disability employment gap and demonstrate leadership in tackling race inequality in employment.
“Today we have published a new careers strategy for Scotland, which will help people access the help they need to get into work or change their career and fulfil their potential. Our Future Skills Action Plan supports this ambition and will help ensure Scotland has a skilled and productive workforce which is resilient to future economic challenges.
“Of course, Brexit remains the biggest threat to jobs, businesses and our economy. That is why the Scottish Government has consistently been clear that the best option for the future wellbeing and prosperity of Scotland – and the UK as a whole – is to stay in the European Union.
“The latest Scottish Government State of the Economy report sets out that, even if a deal is reached, firms’ hiring intentions may remain weak this year and jobs growth and staff shortages in some sectors may worsen.”