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Fraser of Allander report
Commenting on the latest Fraser of Allander report Finance Secretary John Swinney said:
"The recession in Scotland was both shorter and shallower than that experienced across the UK, and while our economy is forecast to continue to grow into next year and the Scottish labour market continues to outperform the UK as a whole, this report reinforces the urgent need for the Westminster Government to deliver an economic 'Plan MacB'.
"The UK Government must deliver real action in the areas where Scottish Government action is making a difference: increased capital expenditure, improved access to finance for medium and small sized businesses, and the introduction of measures to boost economic confidence and income security.
"The Fraser of Allander report also highlights that the recovery in the Scottish construction sector has been stronger than in the UK as a whole. Therefore accelerating capital investment was undoubtedly the right thing to do.
"For the UK as a whole, unemployment levels are now at their highest level since August-October 1994, while in Scotland unemployment has fallen by 25,000 from the recession peak in May-July 2010. And apart from the South East of England, Scotland is the only nation or region in the UK where unemployment has fallen over the past year - and it has fallen most in Scotland.
"The Scottish Government is working hard in tough global times to secure new jobs and investment, and ensure that Scotland's recovery is not derailed by Westminster's wrong-headed economic policy. The Scottish Government is using all of the economic powers currently at our disposal to secure new jobs and investment, and strengthen recovery - and we have had a series of positive jobs announcements in recent months from major companies such as Avaloq, Dell, Amazon, FMC Technologies and Doosan Power Systems - and the prospect of further investment in key sectors such as renewables on the back of the First Minister's recent visit to Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
"We are also delivering a record 25,000 Modern Apprenticeship places this year and in each year of this parliament, and our 'Opportunities for All' programme - guaranteeing a training or learning place for all 16-19 year-olds - will help give our young folk the life chances and opportunities they deserve.
"The Scottish Government's 'Plan MacB' economic approach has helped to maintain employment at higher rates than the rest of the UK for the last eleven months. But more needs to be done, and with control of the main economic and financial levers - such as corporation tax and borrowing powers - the Scottish Government could do more to boost growth and maximise our economic potential.
"It is abundantly clear that the Scottish Parliament needs the real job-creating powers that come with independence, and this report reinforces the fact that the UK Government's Scotland Bill simply fails to address the circumstances, challenges and opportunities that Scotland faces."