Scots Unemployment Down

Unemployment has fallen for the third month in a row, with the latest figures showing 14,000 fewer Scots on the dole queue.

Official statistics for the period February to April put unemployment - including those who are out of work and not eligible for benefits - at 220,000. While that is down on the previous quarter it is still 14,000 higher than the total 12 months ago. 

The number of people not in work and claiming jobseeker's allowance has also increased slightly. This rose by 400 from April to May, to stand at 142,600. Again this is higher than it was a year ago, with last month's total 2,500 more than May 2011. 

The unemployment rate in Scotland remained unchanged at 8.2% - the same as the overall rate for the UK. The figures also showed a rise in employment, with this increasing by 18,000 over the period February to April to 2,481,000. 

Scotland continues to have a higher employment rate than the UK as a whole, with this standing at 71.1% north of the border compared to 70.6%.