Scots Unemployment At Record Low

11 December 2018, 11:37

Job centre

Scotland's unemployment rate has fallen to record low, with new figures showing 3.7% of the population do not have a job.

The jobless total for the country fell 13,000 over the three months covering August to October - a drop of 11.2% - to stand at 100,000.

Joblessness fell among both males and females, with the number of men out of work down by 8,000 over the period to 58,000, while the number of women without a job decreased 5,000 to 42,000.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed there was also a small reduction in the number of people in work.

This fell by 1,000 over the period, with 2,633,000 people aged 16 and over in employment.

Three-quarters (75%) of the working age population - those aged between 16 and 64 - had some form of work, according to the data, putting the employment rate below the 75.7% recorded across the UK as a whole.

But the Scottish unemployment rate was lower than the 4.1% recorded across the UK.

Scotland's business minister Jamie Hepburn said the figures showed "the Scottish economy and jobs market remain strong despite the continued challenges of Brexit".

Mr Hepburn said: "Scotland's unemployment rate fell again, down to 3.7%, which is lower than the UK rate of 4.1% - where unemployment has remained unchanged over the quarter. This is our lowest unemployment rate on record.

"Although overall employment fell very slightly over the quarter, on employment for women and young people, we continue to outperform the UK with a rate of 71.3% for women, higher than the UK rate of 71.2%, and 58.8% for young people, higher than the UK rate of 55.9%.

"Compared to the UK we also have lower rates of unemployment for both women and young people."

He added: "We remain committed to creating the right economic environment for jobs growth - and our record on unemployment shows this is working.

"However, Brexit remains the biggest threat to Scotland's prosperity and these statistics reinforce the urgent need to ensure the positive work we are doing to strengthen our economy is not undone."

With the figures published the day before the Scottish budget, Mr Hepburn said this would "set out how we help protect Scotland as far as we can from the damaging uncertainty of Brexit and how we will deliver on our vision of a healthier, wealthier and fairer country".

He added: "Ultimately, we believe staying in the EU is in Scotland's best interests."