Scotland's Unemployment Rate Falls Below 7 Per Cent
19 March 2014
The number of people employed in Scotland increased by 15,000
over the most recent quarter, according to new labour market
figures. Scotland has seen employment levels increase in every
monthly release for 13 months, with the level of employment in
Scotland now just 1,000 below pre-recession levels. Over the year,
the employment rate in Scotland increased by 1.8 percentage points,
with the number of people in employment increasing by 79,000 to
2,561,000, the highest since the pre-recession peak in March to May
The figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS)
for the period to November to January also show Scotland continuing
to outperform the UK across all headline labour market indicators,
with a lower unemployment rate, higher employment rate and lower
economic inactivity rate.
- The unemployment rate in Scotland now stands at 6.9 per cent,
compared to 7.2 per cent in the UK as a whole.
- Over the three-month period to November to January the
employment rate increased by 0.3 percentage points to 72.9 per cent
compared to a UK rate of 72.3 per cent.
The latest figures were welcomed by Education Secretary Michael
Russell during a visit to Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL), for the
announcement of a deal which will see the firm supply hundreds of
new buses to National Express supporting employment at the Falkirk
based manufacturer. Mr Russell said: "Today's labour market
figures show that the number of people in employment in Scotland
continues to increase, bringing the country close to pre-recession
employment levels, whilst the unemployment rate has fallen to below
7.0 per cent. On all three key measures of employment,
unemployment and inactivity rates Scotland continues to outperform
"This boost in employment, coupled with today's announcement of a
deal that will see Alexander Dennis Limited supply hundreds of new
buses supporting employment in manufacturing, underlines the
strength of Scotland's economy across a range of sectors.
"The publication of the labour market figures is another measure
of the success of Scotland's economy in 2014 and follows Monday's
publication of the Bank of Scotland's jobs market barometer, which
was at its second highest-ever level.
"In addition, last week's reports from the Bank of Scotland's
Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) and Federation of Small
Businesses, both demonstrated increasing economic confidence among
Scottish businesses. These surveys point to a sustained trend
of growth in Scotland's economy, which is testament to the hard
work of firms across Scotland and the policies of the Scottish
Government to create jobs and sustainable economic growth"
Mr Russell continued: "Economic conditions remain challenging, in
particular for young people trying to gain employment, however, the
youth employment rate in Scotland is above that of the UK as a
whole, and the Government is committed to improving opportunities,
including our unique guarantee of an offer of a place in training
or education for all 16 to 19 year olds, and 25,000 new Modern
Apprenticeships every year.
"It is crucial that George Osborne does not undermine the Scottish
Government's ability to support economic revival. Finance Secretary
John Swinney has already urged the Chancellor to refrain from
imposing any further cuts on Scotland, and I join the call for the
Chancellor to take the opportunity of his final pre-referendum
budget to change his policies and to support Scottish
"With the full fiscal and economic powers of independence we can
take a different approach to that of Westminster's austerity
agenda, focused on maintaining and building sustainable economic
growth to strengthen our economy and create jobs."
The labour market statistics can be found on the