Unemployment falls by 11,000

Unemployment fell by 11,000 to 160,000 in Scotland over the last quarter, according to the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Scotland’s jobless rate is now 5.8% compared to 5% for the whole of the UK.

The Scottish Government said Labour Market Statistics for February to April 2016 show Scotland continued to outperform the rest of the UK on female employment rates.

It said Scotland has the second highest employment rate of the four UK nations with 143,000 more people in employment compared with 2010.

Scotland’s youth unemployment rate has fallen to 13.4% over the year.

Minister for Employability and Training Jamie Hepburn said: “The latest employment figures show a fall in unemployment over the last quarter which is to be welcomed.

“However, as the employment rate has fallen we are clear we need to increase our efforts to improve the economy by investing in jobs and creating a competitive and supportive business environment.

“The Government’s forthcoming Labour Market Strategy will recognise the opportunities and challenges we face in our workplaces, including labour market participation.

“We will build on our aspirations, priorities and policies to achieve greater competitiveness and tackle inequalities in the workplace.

“We are working hard to support job creation, while our economic strategy outlines our priorities, which include investing in infrastructure, fostering innovation, promoting inclusive growth and promoting Scotland on the international stage to boost trade and inward investment.

“There has been good news for Ross-shire and the wider Highland area today, with the announcement of a multi-million pound contract between Global Energy Group and Siemens.

“This contract will allow Nigg Energy Park to develop into a genuine multi-energy site, securing around 100 direct and indirect jobs and associated supply chain opportunities.

“I’m pleased that youth unemployment has also decreased over the last year.

“However, we are committed to getting more young people into work which is why we will increase Modern Apprenticeships to 30,000 a year by 2020 as part of a wide range of measures contained in our seven year youth employment strategy Developing the Young Workforce.”