Scots jobless rate falls below UK level as salaries rise by 3.1 per cent

Picture: Ian Georgeson
Picture: Ian Georgeson
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Scotland’s unemployment rate has fallen slightly below that of the UK as a whole, dropping from 4.3 per cent to 3.9 per cent, official figures have shown.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures for June to August put the jobless total north of the Border at 106,000 – down from 120,000 in the previous quarter.

The data suggesting 14,000 fewer people were seeking work than earlier in the year was accompanied by a drop in the unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate was down from 4.3 per cent in the previous three months and at 3.9 per cent is now just below the UK-wide rate of 4 per cent.

UK unemployment fell by 47,000 to 1.36 million – the equivalent of 4 per cent – in the three months to August.

Across the UK, wages excluding bonuses rose by 3.1 per cent compared with the same period a year ago – their fastest paced increase in nearly ten years.

The fall in the jobless total was published at the same time as data suggesting the number of Scots aged 16 to 64 in employment had also fallen.

The number of Scots in employment during the most recent quarter was 2,551,000 (74.9 per cent), down from 2,570,000 (75.5 per cent) in the previous three months. Finance secretary Derek Mackay said: “There are now 132,000 fewer people unemployed in Scotland than the recession peak and we continue to outperform the UK on both employment and unemployment rates for women and young people.

“While these results show a decrease in employment, our employment rate has increased over the longer term and remains high by historical standards.

“We have 71,000 more people in employment compared with the pre-recession peak. Despite the ongoing risks posed by Brexit, our ambitious economic strategy will create the right environment for job growth. This includes commitments on the Scottish National Investment Bank and Manufacturing Institute, and in this year’s Programme for Government we have committed to the biggest infrastructure spending Scotland has ever seen.”

Scottish secretary David Mundell said: “It is welcome news that the number of people out of work and looking for a job in Scotland has fallen.

“However, there is no room for complacency as economic activity in Scotland is falling. The Scottish Government needs to focus on using its extensive powers and work with us on ensuring that Scotland’s economy thrives.”