Unemployment in Scotland has risen again, while the number of people in work is down, official figures today show.
The number of Scots out of work increased by 5000 to 118,000 between November and January, while those with a job fell by 8,000 to 2.64 million. The jobless hike follows an 8,000 increase in the previous quarter, although the jobless figure is down over the year by 9,000.
Read more: Unemployment rises in bleak news for Scotland’s jobs market
It is the latest gloomy news for Scotland's economy after a report by accounting giants PWc this week found Scotland is expected to achieve the lowest economic growth among UK regions this year, alongside Northern Ireland.
The jobless picture in Scotland mirrors the situation across the UK which saw a 24,000 increase between November and January in the jobless total to 1.45 million.
Read more: Unemployment rate in Scotland rises as 2,000 more people out of work
But the number of people in work UK-wide is up by 168,000 to 32.25 million.
Scotland's unemployment rate of 4.3% matches the UK figure, but the employment rate of 74.8% compares with 75.3% across the rest of the country.
Scottish Government employability minister Jamie Hepburn said: “While these results do show a slight decrease in employment over the quarter, our employment rate has increased over the year and the longer term, 1.0 percentage points higher compared with last year, and showing 80,000 more people in employment compared to the pre-recession peak.
“Once more, we continue to outperform the UK on employment and unemployment rates for young people and women, 71.5. % of women and 58.8 % of young people are in employment in Scotland compared to 70.9% of women and 54.5% of young people in the UK."