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Unemployment rate matches lowest on record

Rate at lowest level since before recession.

Scotland’s unemployment rate has fallen to match the lowest rate in 25 years.

It fell by 0.6 percentage points over the last quarter to 4.0%, equalling the figure for March to May 2008, and the lowest rate since the recession.

The unemployment level fell by 17,000 over the quarter to 109,000, and decreased by 49,000 over the year.

The Labour Market Stats for Feb-Apr 2017, published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), show Scotland’s unemployment rate continues to be the lowest out of the four UK nations, and lower than the UK rate of 4.6%.

The figures also show:

  • Scotland’s employment rate increased by 0.3 percentage points over the quarter  to 74.1% - the second highest employment rate out of the four UK nations – with the employment level rising by 14,000.
  • Over the year, Scotland’s employment rate increased by 0.9 percentage points, with the employment level rising by 44,000. 
  • Scotland continued to outperform the UK on female employment rates (70.6% vs. 70.2%), and Scotland’s female unemployment rate was also lower than the UK’s (4.1% vs. 4.4%).
  • Scotland’s youth employment rate also outperformed the UK (57.1% vs. 54.1%), while Scotland’s youth unemployment rate was also lower than the UK’s (8.8% vs. 11.5%).

Minister for Employability and Training Jamie Hepburn said:

“Scotland’s unemployment rate is at its lowest rate since the recession and matches the lowest on record for Scotland since the series began. With the employment rate rising, it’s clear this is hugely positive news for our economy and the jobs market.

“Once again, despite adverse prevailing economic conditions, Scotland’s job market continues to be resilient and robust, with female and youth unemployment rates lower than the UK average.

“The Scottish Government will continue to support growth and jobs in Scotland through our £500 million Scottish Growth Scheme and our £6 billion infrastructure plan.

“Whilst this is good news, we must be clear that the biggest threat to Scotland’s labour market continues to be a hard Brexit – something which the Scottish Government believes there is now no clear mandate for. The UK Government must now seek a broad consensus which would see us retain our place in the single market and in the customs union.”

Background

The statistics are available

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