Unemployment Up 11,000 In Scotland

18 January 2017, 11:21 | Updated: 18 January 2017, 11:23

A pair of jobseekers look for work at a job centre

Scotland's jobless total rose by 11,000 in the three months to November.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show unemployment stood at 139,000, although it was down 12,000 over the year.

The Scottish unemployment rate was 5.1%, above the 4.8% figure for the UK as a whole.

The figures also show the number of people in employment in Scotland fell by 14,000 over the three months to November to stand at 2,604,000.

Scotland's employment rate fell 0.5 percentage points over the quarter to 73.4%, which is below the UK average of 74.5%.

Meanwhile, the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) fell 1,100 to 52,700 in December, which was down by 11,200 on the same month of 2015.

Figures for the number of people claiming JSA and Universal Credit was down 1,600 over the month at 81,500.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: "Today's statistics underline the need for the Scottish Government to focus all their efforts on supporting jobs and economic growth, because they paint a worrying picture.

"Whereas across the UK the news is better, here in Scotland unemployment is up, employment is down and Scotland's economy continues to lag behind that of the UK.

"The UK Government has devolved a raft of new powers to Holyrood, agreed a fair financial settlement as a strong foundation, and delivered #800 million of extra investment for the Scottish Government to spend. The Scottish Government now needs to use all of these powers to secure and strengthen Scotland's economy.''

The Scottish Government said the figures show the country's overall unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage points over the year to 5.1%.

It said Scotland has the second highest employment rate out of the four UK nations, and higher rates of youth employment than the UK, at 58% against 55.5%.

Employability and Training Minister Jamie Hepburn said: ``It is clear that the Scottish and UK economies are currently facing challenging economic conditions, nevertheless despite a slight rise in the unemployment rate over the most recent quarter, it has fallen over the past year.

"It is also heartening to see how strongly we are performing in the youth labour market, where we see the unemployment levels among young Scots steadily declining.

"Scotland is also leading the UK in terms of the proportion of young people currently in work, which is testament to the effectiveness of our youth employment strategy Developing the Young Workforce, and our commitment to support modern apprentices, providing 30,000 places by 2020.

"Despite the strong performance of the youth labour market, the Brexit vote caused significant economic uncertainty, threatening our economic recovery and the stability of our jobs market.''