More Scots jobs misery while UK hits record high

Scotland's jobless total is on the rise again
Scotland's jobless total is on the rise again
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Scotland's jobless total is continuing to rise, while falling to a 40-year low elsewhere in the UK.

Scotland saw a rise of 3,000 in the number of people out of work between December and February, with the unemployment rate rising to 4.2% among under 65s.

Across the UK, the jobless total fell by 16,000 to 1.42 million, to match the Scottish rate of 4.2%. This is the lowest national rate since 1975.

The number of Scots in work was down by 17,000, although the under 65 employment rate remained at 75%.

Read more: Scotland's jobless total on the rise again
This contrasts with the picture UK wide which saw a rise of 55,000 in work people to reach a record high of 32.26 million, leaving an employment rate of 75.4%.

Scotland's economy has been lagging behind the rest of the UK in recent years, with experts raising questions recently about ministers' confusing economic policy.

Scottish Government employability minister Jamie Hepburn said the employment rate north of the border has increased over the year and "remains high by historical standards."

He added: "Our unemployment rate decreased by 0.3 percentage points over the year to 4.2% and has been lower or the same as the UK for 13 of the past 14 months.

“We continue to outperform the UK on employment and unemployment rates for young people and women with 71.9.% of women and 57.3% of young people in employment in Scotland compared to 71.0% of women and 53.9% of young people in the UK.

Read more: Flatlining growth paints grim picture for Scottish economy
“We are committed to growing Scotland’s already strong economy with our investment per head on economic development dwarfing that of the UK Government."

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said action is still needed to boost Scotland's flagging economy.

He said: “These figures show that unemployment has risen in Scotland and that is concerning. With Scotland’s economy lagging behind the rest of the UK, it is urgent that the Scottish Government takes action to help boost productivity and support jobs.

“The UK Government is delivering for Scotland through city and growth deals, as well as giving workers a payrise by increasing the National Living Wage. Now it’s time for the Scottish Government to use their considerable powers to grow the economy and get more people back into work.”