Scotland's jobless total has jumped by 14,000 in a fresh blow for the country's struggling economy.
The Scottish Government is now facing calls to use its tax raising powers to strengthen growth as Finance Secretary Derek Mackay prepares to unveil his budget tomorrow.
Unemployment in Scotland increased by 14,000 in the period August to October 2016, and now stands at 145,000, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data. Across the UK, the jobless total is down by 16,000. The Scottish unemployment rate is 5.3 per cent, which is above the rate of 4.8 per cent for the whole of the UK.
The number of people in work in Scotland fell by 40,000 over the three months to October 2016. The number of those in employment in Scotland now stands at 2.6 million. .
Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: “These statistics underline the importance of tomorrow’s draft budget from the Scottish Government.
“The UK government is building an economy that works for everyone across the UK.
We are supporting jobs and growth by keeping business taxes low and investing in infrastructure. As a direct result of the UK government’s decisions last month, there will be City Deal for every city in Scotland, more than £820 million of extra funding for Scotland, and new support for digital infrastructure and research and development.
“But the Scottish Government now hold the main levers to shape and strengthen the economy. They need to use them to boost the prosperity of people in Scotland.”
The Scottish employment rate has now fallen to 0.8 per cent to 73.3 per cen, below the UK average of 74.4 per cent.
At 5.3 per cent, the Scottish unemployment rate is above the UK’s rate of 4.8 per cent.