Unemployment in Scotland has fallen by 14,000 in the three months to March to reach 120,000, according to newly released figures.
The jobless rate is down half a percentage point to 4.4% – below the rate of 4.6% for the whole of the UK.
The Labour Market Statistics for January to March 2017, published by the Office for National Statistics today show Scotland’s unemployment rate is down 1.7 percentage points over the year.
The number of people in unemployment fell by 14,000 over the quarter to reach 120,000, with the level decreasing by 48,000 over the year.
The figures also show:
- Scotland’s employment rate increased by 0.3 percentage points over the quarter to 74.0%, with the level rising by 5,000. Over the year the rate increased by 0.9 percentage points, with the number of people in work rising by 41,000
- Scotland continues to perform strongly as regards female participation in the labour market, with the female unemployment rate falling by 0.7 percentage points over the year to 4.2%
- The youth employment rate was 3.9 percentage points higher than the previous year – 58.7%, with the level rising by 15,000, as 344,000 young people were in employment
- The inactivity rate for those 16-64 years- those not in work and not actively seeking work (students, looking after family, retired, having a long-term illness or disability) – rose slightly over the quarter by 0.1 percentage points, to 22.5%.
Economy Secretary Keith Brown said:
“Today’s statistics show that Scotland’s labour market continues to perform well in the face of significant economic challenges. Unemployment is down, employment is up and Scotland’s youth unemployment rate is the 4th lowest in the EU.
“We will work to support employment and our priority remains developing the correct conditions for economic growth, including through taking forward our multi-billion pound infrastructure plan, and the Scottish Growth Scheme.
“We will also continue to tackle issues around inactivity in the labour market. Many of these people are unavailable for work as they are students, looking after family or retired.
“Having a long-term illness or disability is the most common reason for those aged 16 to 64 falling into this category and our newly devolved employability services will guarantee a fairer approach to getting people into work, supporting those with health conditions and disabilities.”