Scots unemployment at record low of 3.8%

Scotland’s unemployment rate fell to a record low of 3.8% over the last quarter, down 0.7 percentage points, according to labour market statistics for March to May published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This represents a decrease over the year of 1.6 percentage points.

For the UK as a whole, the unemployment rate fell to 4.5% – the lowest level since 1975.

Scotland’s employment rate increased by 0.7 percentage points over the quarter to 74.1%, and remains the second highest out of the four UK nations.

Scotland’s inactivity rate decreased over the quarter to 22.9%.

Economy Secretary Keith Brown said: “These latest figures show our labour market remains resilient and robust with unemployment now at a record low.

“Our employment rate is also rising, which is good news, and means 25,000 more people are in employment compared to the last quarter.

“When considered alongside the fact that last week’s GDP stats show Scotland’s growth rate over the last quarter to be four times that of the UK, this is further evidence of the strength of the Scottish economy.

“It is also encouraging to see that we continue to perform strongly in female participation, with the female unemployment rate falling by 1.0 percentage point over the year.

“Youth unemployment has fallen from 14% since 2007 and now stands at 8.4% and continues to be amongst the lowest of all EU countries.

“Although we welcome these figures, we realise there is still much work to do and we remain focussed on further strengthening the Scottish economy.

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

“As a result of Brexit real wages are falling and households are seeing their incomes squeezed.

“This squeeze in living standards also feeds through to the wider economy, reducing consumer spending and hurting retail sectors.”