Employment And Jobless Numbers Up

Employment in Scotland has reached a record level despite an increase in the jobless total, new figures show.

The number of people in work rose for the 17th consecutive month to stand at 2,587,000 for the period March to May, with 76,000 more in employment than at this time last year.

But at the same time, unemployment - which includes those who are out of work and not eligible for benefits - rose by 13,000 from the previous quarter to 192,000.

Scotland's unemployment rate is now higher than that for the UK as a whole, at 6.9% north of  the border compared to 6.5%, the latest data from the Office for National Statistics shows.

However the employment rate in Scotland is 73.3%, which is better than the UK rate of 73.1%.

The proportion of women in work is also higher north of the border, with a female employment rate of 69.7% compared to 68.1% across the whole of the UK.

In Scotland a record number of 1,249,000 women are now in work.

Meanwhile, the number of Scots who are out of work and claiming jobseeker's allowance fell to 96,000 in June, a drop of 4,000 from the previous month.

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said: "We have seen positive developments over the year as a whole with 76,000 more Scots in employment and 13,000 fewer in unemployment.

"In June alone, the number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance fell by 4,000 and is now 35,500 lower compared to one year ago. Claimant count is now below 100,000 and at its lowest level since December 2008.''

But he added: "Today's news reminds us we need to continue creating the right conditions to get people into jobs. While it is disappointing to see unemployment rise at any time, the news comes against a backdrop of record overall employment, female employment and record private sector employment. The number of economically active people in Scotland is rising and the number of Scots claiming unemployment has now fallen for 16 consecutive months.

"This Government is making the right choices for a stable, growing economy and the jobs that come with it - those are the best choices for Scotland and the people who live here.''

Finance Secretary John Swinney said the statistics show employment has "reached a new record in Scotland''.

He said: "As the economy recovers more people are moving from inactivity into the labour market to look for employment. With this boost to economic activity, it is not surprising that both employment and unemployment have risen over the quarter - albeit unemployment is still down over the year.

"With the full powers of independence we could do more to get people into work, ensure everyone in Scotland is able to benefit from our national wealth and give employers access to the skills they need to grow their business, strengthening our economy and creating jobs.''

Angela Constance, the Secretary for Training, Youth and Women's Employment, said: "It is encouraging that female employment continues to increase markedly with a higher employment rate than the rest of the UK.

"Although we continue to do better than the UK in terms of employment rates amongst young people and 90% of school leavers are in positive destinations, our youth unemployment rate remains too high.''

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