Unemployment falls to 4.5%, below UK’s 4.7%

Scotland’s official unemployment level fell by 15,000 in the most recent quarter to 123,000, with the rate down 0.5 percentage points to 4.5% — below the 4.7% level for the UK.

Latest statistics from the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) also showed Scotland’s employment rate recording a small decrease of 0.1 percentage points over the quarter to 73.4% with 2,596,000 people now in employment.

Female employment rates in Scotland stand at 70.1%, which is above the UK rate, and Scotland continues to outperform the UK on youth employment rates.

Over the year, youth unemployment in Scotland fell by 6.9 percentage points to 8.9%.

The Scottish government’s Minister for Employability and Training Jamie Hepburn said: “Despite economic challenges these latest figures show Scotland’s labour market remains resilient with unemployment falling and our female employment rates and youth unemployment rates outperforming the UK.

“While we are doing all we can to support employment, clearly the biggest threat to Scotland’s labour market continues to be a hard Brexit, which threatens to cost our economy up to £11 billion a year from 2030, and cost the country 80,000 jobs over a decade.

“The Scottish Government will continue to pursue all options to retain our relationship with Europe, our place in the single market and all the advantages that brings.

“We recognise that there are still many barriers to get people into work which is why our priority is to support Scotland’s economy by stimulating investment in new and early-stage business through our £500 million Scottish Growth Scheme and investing in our £6 billion infrastructure plan.

“Our Scottish approach to apprenticeships and training, and actions to tackle the gender pay gap is setting us apart from the rest of the UK while we are committed to increasing participation in the labour market.”