Scotland’s jobless rate down, but ‘economic inactivity’ on rise

Unemployment is down in Scotland but the number of people with a job has fallen. Picture: TSPL
Unemployment is down in Scotland but the number of people with a job has fallen. Picture: TSPL
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The number of  out-of-work Scots has fallen by 14,000, the latest official figures have shown.

Unemployment now stands at 129,000, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data released today. The Scottish unemployment rate is 4.7 per cent, which is below the rate of 4.8 per cent for the whole of the UK.

David Mundell says the falling employment rate in Scotland is a concern

David Mundell says the falling employment rate in Scotland is a concern


But the number of people with a job has also fallen meaning that a growing number of Scots may have simply given up looking for work as "economic inactivity" levels continue to rise.


Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell said: “It is good news that unemployment continues to fall in Scotland.

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“But with Scotland’s employment rates now lagging behind the rate of the UK and economic inactivity on the rise, these figures should be a concern to the Scottish government.

“It is important they use their budget next month to set out how they plan to use the significant new tax and welfare powers they now have to support the Scottish economy."


Employment in Scotland fell by 25,000 over the three months to September 2016. The number of people with a job in Scotland now stands at 2.6 million.

Scotland's employment rate of 73.6 per cent is below the Uk average of 74.5 per cent

The Scottish Government insists there are 40,000 more people in employment now than at the pre-recession peak in early 2008.


Economy Secretary Keith Brown said: “Today’s labour market statistics again show that Scotland is outperforming the UK on unemployment and has the second highest employment rate of the four nations. Our female and youth employment rates are also higher than those for the UK as a whole.


“While these are hugely encouraging signs it is important that given the challenging economic conditions we face, we continue our efforts to support growth, to invest and to boost employment, with a £500 million package of financial support for private sector business investment as well as £100 million of accelerated capital spending in this financial year."