Scots jobless rate rises while UK sees record fall

Scotland's jobless total has jumped again while falling to a 10-year low across the rest of the UK, official figures today show.

The number of people out of work in Scotland now stands at 135,000. Picture: John Devlin

The number of people out of work north of the border increased by 6,000 between October and November last year and now stands at 135,000.

Across the UK, unemployment fell by 7,000 to just under 1.6 million.

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However, there has been a rise in the number of people in work in Scotland with 8,000 additional workers, the figures show. This can be explained by an increase in the size of the labour market by developments like students leaving university.

The Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell, said: “There is cause for some cautious optimism about the state of Scotland’s labour market, with employment up and more women returning to the labour market.

“However, declining economic activity during the last 12 months, and the gap between the Scottish and UK labour markets, remains a concern.

“We have devolved a raft of new powers to the Scottish Parliament. It now needs to use those levers to strengthen the Scottish economy.”

The Scottish unemployment rate is 4.9 per cent, which is above the rate of 4.8 per cent for the whole of the UK.

The number of people in employment in Scotland now stands at 2.61 million.

The Scottish Government's Minister for Employability and Training Jamie Hepburn said the figures show Scotland’s labour market remains "resilient."

He added: "We are working to build an economy where everyone can share in the benefits of economic growth. It is therefore encouraging to note this rise in the number of people in work alongside some positive statistics on female and youth employment, where we continue to lead the UK. In terms of low youth unemployment rates, we are second only to Germany within the EU."