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by Laura Fox
17 June 2015
Unemployment and employment both rise in Scotland

Unemployment and employment both rise in Scotland

Employment in Scotland has increased by 14,000, while unemployment also increased by 1,000 between February and April, according to official figures. 

The figures are due to an influx of those seeking employment into the job market, according to today’s quarterly report into the labour market by the Office for National Statistics.

UK unemployment has fallen by 1.1 per cent to 5.5 per cent between February and April this year, while Scotland’s unemployment rate now stands at 5.9 per cent.


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While the number of women working full or part-time increased by 224,000, the employment rate for women is now sitting at 68.6 per cent, as opposed to the employment rate for males of 78.3 per cent, highlighting a continuing gender gap in employment.

Conservative MP and Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell said “These statistics today show the creativity, resilience and hard work of so many people and businesses in Scotland.”

Trade unions have questioned the sustainability of the figures however.

Grahame Smith, General Secretary of the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) said: “The STUC has ongoing concerns over the quality and sustainability of the new jobs being created. Although the real terms increase in wages across the UK is encouraging, there is a very long way to go.”

He also stated that the figures are still lower than their pre-recession counterparts.

“With unemployment, as measured by both level and rate, still significantly higher than before the recession, the key test of the strength of the Scottish labour market over the coming year will be whether people leaving inactivity manage to keep finding jobs,” he said.

The Scottish Government welcomed the rise in youth and women’s employment in Scotland. Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training said the figures were “pushing us to the forefront of work to help people into jobs across Europe. Youth unemployment is at its lowest level and rate in six years and female participation in the labour market continues to improve”.

Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Willie Rennie called for an action plan after six months of rising unemployment. “The Scottish Government cannot sit back and put out the usual statement. SNP ministers need to do more than issue a bland or complacent words,” he said.

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