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16 September 2015, 11:39
The number of Scots who are in work has dropped by 12,000 in three months, new figures have revealed.
Employment in Scotland fell to 2,612,000 in the period May to July, although the total is still 4,000 higher than the same time last year.
While 74% of Scots are in work, the unemployment rate north of the border is higher than the UK average, at 5.9% compared to 5.5%
The jobless total, which includes those who are out of work and not eligible for benefits, remained unchanged at 164,000 in the three months from May to July, according to data from the Office for National Statistics.
Meanwhile, the number of people who are not in work and claiming jobseeker's allowance last month was 69,800 - a drop of 2,300 from July and 20,7000 lower than in August 2014.
Scottish Secretary David Mundell insisted the UK Government's long-term plan "has laid the foundations for a stronger economy''.
Mr Mundell said: "It is almost exactly a year since Scotland made the historic decision to remain part of the UK.
"In those 12 months we have seen further improvements in the Scottish Labour market with employment increasing and unemployment falling.
"The UK Government is committed to a lower tax and higher wage economy for those in work and since 2010 we have 175,000 more people working in Scotland.
"Being part of the larger UK economy provides more opportunities and more security for people in Scotland. Scotland made the right decision last September.''
Roseanna Cunningham, Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training said "while the overall economic picture remains generally very positive, particularly when compared to where we were at the peak of the recession, there remains work to be done''.
Ms Cunningham added: "We must maintain momentum and ensure that every power at our disposal is used to grow the economy, increase employment, lower unemployment and remove barriers to the jobs market.
"We are currently consulting on how employability services for disabled people and those at risk of long-term unemployment will look after these powers are devolved to Scotland in 2017.
"This is a real opportunity to design a service that is tailored to the needs of Scots looking for work and I would urge everyone to have their say.''
She added she was "particularly pleased to see improvements in youth employment figures'', adding this was "further evidence that the road Scotland has taken, to bring schools, college and employers together, is the right one''.
Ms Cunningham said she expected to "see further progress in the coming months as we push for a 40% reduction in youth unemployment by 2021''.