Record Number Of Women In Work

17 December 2014, 10:11

The number of women working in Scotland is the highest ever recorded.

Female employment's gone up by 21,000 in the quarter from August to October to reach 1.28 million.

Youth unemployment has fallen by more than a quarter in the last 12 months, and is now at its lowest level in the last five years, according to the Scottish Government.

Overall, the Scottish unemplyment rate's gone down by 11,000 to 156,000, and is 0.4% lower than the UK rate.

Across the UK, 1.96 million people are out of work - a fall of 63,000 - although that's the smallest quarterly fall for a year.

Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training Roseanna Cunningham said: "Today's figures demonstrate the success of the work we are doing to improve employment opportunities for all in Scotland. Once again Scotland is leading the way with the highest employment and economic activity rates and lowest unemployment rate of the home nations of the UK.

"I am particularly pleased to see youth unemployment in Scotland has fallen by 24,000 over the last year and is now at its lowest level in the last five years. That follows a dedicated focus by the Scottish Government and partners on improving work and training opportunities for young people who want to enter the workplace. This approach is highlighted by our new youth employment strategy that followed work by the Commission for Developing Scotland's Young Workforce.

"We know from statistics published yesterday that more school leavers than ever before are moving to positive destinations such as employment, training or education, supported by the efforts of employers like Sopra who are opening up opportunities for young people and women.

"Of course, a new record high in the female employment level is welcome evidence of our on-going work on narrowing the gender gap.

"There will be no let-up in the New Year and it will be a strong priority of this Government to use all of the powers we have at our disposal in 2015 to increase employment, tackle unemployment and improve access to the labour market for everyone in Scotland.

"More powers would allow us to take our work even further. While it was regrettable the UK Government has not given us the powers of the work programme despite the recommendation of the Smith Commission, we will continue to hold Westminster to account to ensure commitments are met."

Westminster's Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said: "These remarkable figures show that our long-term economic plan to create a better more prosperous future for Britain is working. Behind them are countless stories of individual hard work and determination, with more people than ever before feeling financially secure.

"What we can see at the end of 2014 is that our welfare reforms are ensuring that people have the skills and opportunities to move into work. Whether that's work experience for young people to get their foot on the career ladder, the benefit cap encouraging people to get a job, or the Work Programme which is helping more people than any previous jobs scheme.

"These figures show that our long-term economic plan to create a better, more prosperous future for Britain is working - with thousands of people feeling more secure over the Christmas period with a regular wage.''