Scots unemployment 5.1%; UK rate 4.8%

Unemployment in Scotland in the September to November quarter was down 12,000 on the same quarter last year, but rose by 11,000 during the period to 139,000, according to UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The Scottish unemployment rate is now 5.1%, just above the rate of 4.8% for the whole of the UK.

Employment in Scotland fell by 14,000 over the quarter, and by 29,000 over the year, to stand at 2,604,000.

The Scots employment rate stands at 73.4%, just below the UK average of 74.5%.

The UK government’s Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell, said: Today’s statistics underline the need for the Scottish Government to focus all their efforts on supporting jobs and economic growth, because they paint a worrying picture.

Whereas across the UK the news is better, here in Scotland unemployment is up, employment is down and Scotland’s economy continues to lag behind that of the UK.”

The Scottish government put a different gloss on the ONS statistics, pointing out that youth unemployment decreased by 3.6 percentage points over the last year to 9.4 per cent, below the UK level.

It said Scotland now has the second lowest youth unemployment rate in the EU.

It said that despite rising by 0.4 percentage points over the last quarter, Scotland’s overall unemployment rate also fell by 0.4 percentage points over the year to 5.1%.

It said Scotland has the second highest employment rate out of the four UK nations.

The Scottish government’s Minister for Employability and Training, Jamie Hepburn, said: “It is clear that the Scottish and UK economies are currently facing challenging economic conditions, nevertheless despite a slight rise in the unemployment rate over the most recent quarter, it has fallen over the past year.

“It is also heartening to see how strongly we are performing in the youth labour market, where we see the unemployment levels among young Scots steadily declining …

“Despite the strong performance of the youth labour market, the Brexit vote caused significant economic uncertainty, threatening our economic recovery and the stability of our jobs market.”