Unemployment Falls Below 200,000

Scotland's jobless total has fallen below 200,000 for the first time since 2009, new figures have revealed.

The number of Scots who are unemployed fell by 11,000 over the period December 2012 to February 2013 - the fifth month in a row there has been a decrease. 

Official figures showed there were 197,000 people out of work, including those who are unemployed and not eligible for benefits - 21,000 less than the total 12 months ago. 

At the same time unemployment across the UK increased by 70,000 to 2.56 million. 

The Scottish jobless rate is now 7.3%, compared to 7.9% for the UK as a whole. 

As well as the fall in unemployment north of the border, the number of people in employment increased by 39,000 over the period December to February to a new total of 2,507,000. 

There was also a drop in the number of people out of work and claiming jobseeker's allowance. This fell by 600 from February to March to stand at 136,600.