Employment Increases By 53,000


The number of Scots in employment has risen by 53,000 over the last year - the equivalent of more than 1,000 people a week finding work.

While official statistics showed there had been a slight increase in the jobless total over the the period February to April, the number of people in work was up by 14,000 over the three months.

Employment has risen to 2,624,000, with almost three quarters of the Scottish population in work.

While the employment rate north of the border is higher than the figure of 73.4% for the UK as a whole, Scotland has a higher rate of unemployment, with 5.9% of people out of work compared to 5.5% across the UK.

The number of Scots who are out of work, including those not eligible for benefits, rose by 1,000 over February to April to stand at 163,000.

Across the UK as a whole the jobless total fell by 43,000 over the period to 1.81 million, but the number of Scots who are out of work is 19,000 lower than the same quarter last year.

Meanwhile, the number of people in Scotland who are not working and claiming jobseeker's allowance fell by 1,200 last month to 76,300 - a drop of 23,900 from May 2014.

The employment rate for women reached a record high, with 72.5% of females now in work.

At the same time, the youth unemployment rate has fallen to 13.9%, its lowest level for six years.

Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training Roseanna Cunningham said: "Today's figures continue to show improvements in youth and women's employment, pushing us to the forefront of work to help people into jobs across Europe.

"Youth unemployment is at its lowest level and rate in six years, and female participation in the labour market continues to improve.''

She added: "There are also now 74,000 fewer Scots unemployed since the peak of the recession in 2010, great news for the economy, which is also making a difference to the lives of individual Scots.

"Today's news follows a range of activity to support more people into jobs including ensuring our colleges are fully focused on the employability of young people, highlighting the importance of apprenticeships and improved options on childcare to help more women back in the workforce.

"However, there are areas where further work is needed, particularly as recent quarters have seen small rises in unemployment.

"Much of that change appears to have been caused by people - mostly women - re-entering the labour market following the recession, and as such, the labour market is seeing an influx in the numbers of people seeking jobs.''

Ms Cunningham pledged the Scottish Government would "continue to use all the levers at our disposal'' to help people find work but also said ministers would continue to push for powers over welfare and taxation ``that are fit for a modern Scotland''.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: "I want to ensure that every part of Scotland benefits from a growing UK economy and that everyone who works hard gets the opportunities they need to succeed.

"Our long-term economic plan gives working people the chance to get on at every stage of their lives and make the most of the jobs and opportunities that are being created across the country.

"These statistics today show the creativity, resilience and hard work of so many people and businesses in Scotland.

"The increase in employment sees the number of people in Scotland in work reach a near record high.

"Over the past year employment in Scotland has increased by 53,000 and unemployment has fallen by 19,000.

"The latest economic forecasts also confirm growth will continue this year and next, with more jobs being created and wages continuing to rise.''