Employment rate in Scotland reaches record high
Scotland's employment rate has reached its highest ever recorded level, official figures have revealed, while unemployment has fallen again.
A total of 75.9 per cent of Scots aged 16-64 were in some form of employment between February and March, labour market statistics found. This was just below the UK-wide rate of 76.1 per cent.
Unemployment north of the Border fell to to 3.3 per cent, lower than the UK-wide figure for the ninth month in a row.
But more than 20 per cent of Scots of working age remain economically inactive.
The Scottish Government welcomed the figures but warned Brexit could lead to job lay-offs across the country. The UK Government said its investment in Scotland was helping deliver record employment.
Across the UK average employee pay rose by 3.4 per cent compared with a year ago. After taking inflation into account, wage growth was 1.4 per cent.
The unemployment rate UK-wide remained at 3.8 per cent, and has not been lower since the October to December 1974 period, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. The national employment rate for women was 72 per cent, the highest on record.
Employment minister Jamie Hepburn said: “Despite the UK Government’s EU exit plans, Scotland’s economy and jobs market continues to perform consistently well. And the Scottish Government’s commitment to fair work for all is again reflected in these results.
“The Scottish Government has consistently been clear that the best option for the future wellbeing and prosperity of Scotland is to stay in the European Union. Otherwise we will see people become poorer and lose their jobs.”
Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: “It is encouraging to see that the number of people employed in Scotland is at a record high, while unemployment continues to fall.
“The UK Government is investing in Scotland’s economy including more than £1.35 billion in city and growth deals, creating opportunities, jobs and long-term growth.
“Our investment is having a real impact and I urge the Scottish Government to work with us to ensure this continues.”