Record Rise In Employment Numbers

Scotland has seen a record rise in employment, with 51,000 people finding work in just three months.

May to July also saw the jobless total fall to its lowest level since 2008, with the unemployment rate for Scotland now below the UK average.

The latest quarterly data from the Office for National Statistics showed employment grew to 2,631,000 - a rise of 17,000 on the same period in 2015.

At the same time the unemployment total - which includes those out of work and not eligible for benefits - fell by 29,000 to stand at 130,000.

The unemployment rate fell by more than a point to 4.7%, lower than the 4.9% recorded across the UK as a whole.

However, Scotland's employment rate of 74.1% was marginally lower than the UK total of 74.5%.

Holyrood's Economy Secretary Keith Brown said the "encouraging figures'' showed the "fundamentals of the Scottish economy are strong''.

He warned: "There is no doubt that Brexit poses a real and direct risk to continued economic recovery in Scotland.

"These labour market figures continue to show the utmost importance of Scotland and the UK as a whole retaining membership of the European single market, which will enable us to build on this encouraging progress and ensure that everyone in Scotland benefits from economic growth.''

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said while Scotland and UK are "on a strong footing'' ahead of negotiations to leave the European Union, there "is no room for complacency''.

The UK Government minister said: "Today's figures are welcome news. They show a near record high of over 2.6 million people in work, with Scotland's employment having risen by over 51,000 between May and July.

"Unemployment is down to its lowest level since 2008, bringing the Scottish rate down to 4.7%, lower than the UK rate of 4.9%.

"These improvements put Scotland, and the whole of the UK, on a strong footing as we approach the negotiations to exit the European Union.

"There is no room for complacency - we must make sure that we continue to work with the Scottish Government and other partners to continue to boost Scotland's economy and prosperity.''

The number of Scots who were out of work and claiming jobseeker's allowance fell to 53,500 in August, a drop of 500 on the previous month and 17,000 lower than it was a year ago.

Mr Brown added: "The statistics continue to show that Scotland is outperforming the rest of the UK in terms of youth employment and I am very pleased that the female employment rate has risen over the quarter, a testament to our work to ensure women have the same equality of opportunities in the labour market as their male counterparts.''

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