Unemployment in Scotland remains lower than the UK average for the 10th month in a row, despite not changing during the last quarter.

The latest labour market statistics, released by the Office for National Statistics for March to May 2019, show unemployment has remained at 3.3% in Scotland compared to 3.8% in the UK, while employment has increased by 0.2%.

 

Although the employment rate in Scotland of 75.8% for those between the ages of 16 and 64 is lower than the UK average of 76%, Business Minister Jamie Hepburn said that there are many areas where the Scottish economy is outperforming the UK as a whole.

Hepburn said: “Yet again we are seeing strong results for Scotland’s labour market. Scotland’s employment rate rose over the quarter and year to 75.8%, very close to the highest on record.

“The unemployment rate fell over the year to 3.3%, also very close to the record low and 0.5 percentage points lower than the UK’s (3.8%). Our unemployment rate has now been lower than the UK’s for 10 months in a row.

“But it’s not just headline rates where we’re doing well. The employment rate for Scotland’s women rose over the quarter and year to 72.5% – continuing to outperform the UK where the employment rate is lower at 72.0%. We also outperform the UK on unemployment (2.9% vs 3.6%) and inactivity (25.2% vs 25.3%) rates for women.

“The latest stats show our labour market is also working for young people. The 16 to 24-year-old employment rate in Scotland rose by 2.5 percentage points over the year and at 58.7% is higher than the UK’s (53.3%).”

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But he warned that Brexit was expected to increase unemployment.

He added: “While Scotland’s economy and job market continues to perform, the UK Government’s EU exit plans, in whatever form, will cost jobs, make people poorer and damage our society.

“The Scottish Government has consistently been clear that the best option for the future wellbeing and prosperity of Scotland, and the UK as a whole, is to stay in the European Union.”

Although employment has increased and unemployment has remained static, the number of people in Scotland claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance and out-of-work Universal Credit is up 2,100 on the month of May and 18,700 higher than the year before.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: “It is very positive to see that employment levels remain high while the number of people who are unemployed has stayed at almost a record low.

 

“The UK Government is ensuring a strong Scottish economy by investing in city and growth deals across Scotland.

“This month we have finalised the £400 million Borderlands Growth Deal and announced a £65 million Moray Growth Deal – helping create opportunities, jobs and long-term growth across Scotland.”



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