Scotland’s unemployment total falls by 18,000

The Scottish unemployment rate is 6.4 per cent, lower than the UK's 6.8 per cent. Picture: Michael Gillen
The Scottish unemployment rate is 6.4 per cent, lower than the UK's 6.8 per cent. Picture: Michael Gillen
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SCOTLAND’S jobless total has fallen by a massive 18,000, the latest official figures have shown.

It means there were 178,000 out of work between January to March this year.

Across the UK, unemployment is also down by 133,000 to a five-year low of 2.2 million

The Scottish unemployment rate is 6.4 per cent, which is below the average of 6.8 per cent for the whole of the UK.

The number of people in work in Scotland has also increased by 29,000 and now stands at 2,585,000 and now stands at a 22-year high.

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said: “Scotland is doing well as part of the UK. In the first quarter of 2014 unemployment in Scotland fell by 18,000 and employment rose by 29,000. It is also very good to see the number of Scots claiming jobseekers allowance has now fallen for 18 straight months and is at a six and half year low.”

Female employment has increased by 38,000 over the last year and it is estimated that Scotland now has one of the highest rates of female employment in the European Union.

First Minister Alex Salmond said: “Today’s employment figures mark a further improvement on last month’s record figures and demonstrate the Scottish Government’s policy of investing in infrastructure to boost the economy is making significant progress with employment levels at a record high.

“Scotland continues to outperform the UK across employment, unemployment and inactivity rates which shows that even with the limited powers over the economy at our disposal we are improving our country’s economic health.”