The estimated unemployment rate in Scotland was 3.2% in the March to May 2023 quarter, down 0.6 percentage points since December 2019 to February 2020 (pre- pandemic) but up 0.2 percentage points over the quarter.
Scotland’s unemployment rate was below the UK rate of 4%.
That’s according to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) Labour Force Survey estimates.
Early estimates for June 2023 from HMRC Pay As You Earn Real Time Information indicate there were 2.44 million payrolled employees in Scotland, an increase of 2.5% or 61,000 compared with February 2020 (pre-pandemic). This compares with the UK where the number of payrolled employees increased by 3.5% over the same period.
The HMRC estimates show median monthly pay for payrolled employees in Scotland was £2,301, an increase of 23% compared with February 2020. Median monthly pay for the UK over the same period rose 24.1%.
The ONS Labour Force Survey estimates show that in the March to May 2023 quarter, the estimated employment rate — the proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work — in Scotland was 75.1%, down 0.2 percentage points since December 2019 to February 2020 and down 0.5 percentage points over the quarter. The UK employment rate was 76%.
The estimated economic inactivity rate in the quarter — the proportion of people aged 16 to 64 years who were not working and not seeking or available to work — in Scotland was 22.3%, up 0.7 percentage points since December 2019 to February 2020 and up 0.3 percentage points over the quarter.
The UK economic inactivity rate was 20.8%.
Scotland’s wellbeing economy secretary Neil Gray said: “The continued near-record low unemployment rates for those aged 16 and over across Scotland are welcome and reflects the resilience of the labour market amid the challenging economic outlook and ongoing cost of living crisis.
“This is compounded by continuing high inflation and rising interest rates.
“However, the Scottish government is committed to supporting more people into work — including the disabled and those with health conditions and caring responsibilities — through employability and skills support as well as improved access to flexible working.”