Record number of Scots in work; unemployment 3.8%

Edinburgh's Princes Street

The unemployment rate in Scotland has fallen to 3.8% and a record number of people are in work, according to the latest figures from the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS figures show the unemployment rate in Scotland fell from 3.9% between July and September to 3.8% between August and October. For the UK as a whole, the unemployment rate was 4.2%.

The latest early payrolled employee estimates for November 2023 indicate that there were 2.45 million payrolled employees in Scotland. This is the highest number on record, according to the ONS.

The latest early estimates for November 2023 indicate that median monthly pay for payrolled employees in Scotland was £2,334, an increase of 4.4% compared to the same period the previous year.

Neil Gray, the Scottish Government’s Wellbeing Economy Secretary said: “It is welcome that the latest early estimates of payrolled employees from HMRC Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Real Time Information (RTI) show the highest number of payrolled employees in Scotland since the series began.

“The latest ONS adjusted experimental estimates show that the employment, unemployment and economic inactivity rates for Scotland in August to October 2023 are relatively unchanged over the quarter.

“In the face of ongoing challenges to the labour market such as still-high inflation and the continuing impacts of Brexit, the Scottish Government is committed to using its limited powers to support more people into work through employability and skills support.

“This includes expanding Scotland’s provision of high quality funded childcare to support more parents, and those with caring responsibilities, into work, training or education, developing a lifetime skills offer for adults and our apprenticeship programme and supporting delivery of devolved employability support aimed at tackling structural barriers to people progressing towards, entering and sustaining employment.”