Scots employment ‘highest on record’

Latest figures show the highest employment level for Scotland since records began in 1992, taking the number of Scots in work to 2,631,000, according to the Scottish Government.

Scotland’s unemployment rate fell by 0.7 percentage points to reach 5.4% — slightly above the UK level of 5.1%.

UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) labour market statistics for September to November 2015 show a 21,000 rise in the Scottish employment level compared to the previous three months.

Scotland’s employment rate increased to 74.9 %, a rise of 1.2 percentage points over the quarter.

That compares to 74.3% for England, 70.5% for Wales, and 68.8% for Northern Ireland.

“Scotland now has the highest employment rate out of the four UK nations, and outperforms the UK as a whole,” said the Scottish Government.

The ONS stats show the number of people unemployed in Scotland fell over the quarter by 19,000.

“Employment has continued to rise and unemployment to fall – with more Scots in work than ever before,” said Roseanna Cunningham.

“Youth employment figures continue to be strong, out-performing the UK statistics.

“However, we are not complacent and we recognise that a number of significant challenges remain beneath these encouraging headline figures.

“Though the unemployment rate has reported the largest quarterly fall since June-August 2014, it is still marginally higher than the UK rate and we will continue to do all that we can to ensure that this gap continues to narrow.

“In addition the Scottish economy, like that of the UK, is continuing to feel the effect of headwinds such as a slowdown in global demand — a situation exacerbated by the continuing low price of oil and the effect this is having on the industry and its supply chain.

“Nevertheless, these figures indicate strong resilience within the Scottish economy and we will continue to channel every power at our disposal into promoting inclusive economic growth and fair work, increasing employment, lowering unemployment and removing any barriers to the jobs market which may remain.”