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Unemployment drops in Scotland

Image credit: PA

Unemployment drops in Scotland

Seven thousand more people were employed in Scotland in the last quarter of 2019, as the unemployment rate dropped by 0.3 per cent, according to the latest job figures.

However, when compared to the same period in 2018, Scottish unemployment actually rose by 0.2 per cent – or 4,000 people.

From September to November 2018 and September to November 2019, employment overall decreased by one per cent, or 17,000 people.

The figures, released by the Office of National Statistics on Tuesday, showed Scotland’s unemployment rate was at 3.8 per cent – the same as the UK’s overall unemployment rate – from September to November 2019.

Scotland’s inactivity rate (which measures proportion of the population that is not in the workforce) increased by 0.2 per cent, to 22.7 per cent, which was 2.1 per cent higher than the UK average.

The data showed 2.6m, or 74.3 per cent, of those aged 16 to 64 in Scotland were in employment.

Overall in the UK, 32.9m people are in employment, an increase of 0.5 per cent over the three-month period. In England 76.8 per cent of people were in employment, in Wales that number was 74.9 per cent and in Northern Ireland 72.6 per cent.

Business minister Jamie Hepburn said the figures signalled “that Brexit is continuing to negatively impact employment in Scotland and that there is work to do to reduce inactivity and increase employment in our labour market”.

“That is why the Scottish Government is working hard through its investment in employability services, including Fair Start Scotland, to provide the right support to move those furthest from our labour market into work,” he said. 

“The Scottish Government will also continue to do all it can to stimulate growth, jobs and investment through the policies set out in our Economic Action Plan and Prepare for Brexit campaign. These policies are designed to help build economic resilience by offering grants and advice to support businesses to face the challenges ahead.”

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