Unemployment in Scotland rises by 9,000

The number of unemployed people in Scotland has risen by 9,000 to 113,000 from June to August this year, official figures have shown.
Employability minister Jamie HepburnEmployability minister Jamie Hepburn
Employability minister Jamie Hepburn

The unemployment rate rose by 0.3 percentage points over the same period to 4.1 per cent.

The unemployment rate was below the 4.3 per cent recorded for the UK as a whole.

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According to the Office for National Statistics, unemployment reached 113,000 for all those aged 16 and over.

For those aged between 16 and 64, unemployment rose by 6,000 to 109,000, with the number in work up 40,000 and the employment rate hitting 75.3 per cent.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said the increase in employment was “encouraging”, pointing out that it was “close to record levels”.

However he expressed disappointment at the rise in unemployment adding: “We must remain focused on boosting Scotland’s economy. Growth in Scotland lags behinds the rest of the UK and I’d urge the Scottish Government to use their considerable economic levers more effectively.”

The Scottish Government highlighted a 1.4 percentage point decrease in the economic inactivity rate for those aged 16 to 64 to 21.5 per cent - similar to the UK rate of 21.4 per cent - and an increase in the female employment rate to 72 per cent.

Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn said the latest figures were “encouraging and among the highest on record”.

He said: “Scotland has higher employment rates and lower unemployment rates than the UK with 91,000 more people in employment compared to the pre-recession peak.

“Youth unemployment rates continue to outperform the UK. This comes on top of us fulfilling our commitment to reduce youth unemployment by 40%, four years ahead of schedule.

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“While these figures are positive we recognise there are still many barriers to getting people into work and are continuing to work to improve labour market conditions.”