The number of jobless Scots increased by 30,000 to 127,000 between February and April as the effects of the Covid-19 crisis hit the labour market.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the proportion of people aged over 16 who are out of work has risen to 4.6 per cent in Scotland over the past three months, compared with 3.9 per cent nationwide.
That’s a jump from 3.5 per cent in the previous quarter.
The latest data covers only the first five weeks of lockdown.
Across the UK, the number of workers on payrolls fell by more than 600,000 between March and May as coronavirus restrictions hit the country’s labour market, according to the latest official figures.
The ONS said early estimates showed the number of paid employees dropped by 2.1 per cent or 612,000 in May compared with March.
The number of people temporarily away from work, including furloughed workers, rose by six million at the end of March into April.
The data shows jobless claims under Universal Credit jumped 23.3 per cent month-on-month in May to 2.8 million and soared 125.9 per cent, or 1.6 million, since March when the UK was placed in lockdown.
Ministers said the figures showed the huge challenge facing Scotland as a result of the pandemic.
“Scotland’s labour market has changed drastically since the lockdown measures were imposed,” business, fair work and skills minister Jamie Hepburn said.
“These are the first labour market statistics to include a full month of lockdown measures, and show clearly the scale of the challenge facing Scotland as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I know that many people will be feeling a deep sense of anxiety about their livelihoods.
“Keeping people in work while supporting those who have lost their jobs will continue to be at the heart of our thinking as we carefully reopen the economy.”
The Scottish Government is holding a labour market summit tomorrow in a bid to address unemployment and economic recovery.
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