Unemployment in Scotland rises slightly

Unemployment in Scotland increased slightly last quarter, according to latest figures.

Between July and September this year, the unemployment rate among those aged 16 years and over was 3.5 per cent, which was 0.3 per cent up on the previous quarter, data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed.

Across the UK, the unemployment rate rose to 3.6 per cent in the three months to September, up from 3.5 per cent in the previous three months as the threat of a recession loomed.

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In Scotland, the employment rate for those aged 16 to 64 years was 75.3 per cent between July and September – 0.1 per cent down on the previous quarter.

Unemployment in Scotland increased slightly last quarter, according to latest figures.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Government said the employment rate for women in Scotland aged 16-64 was the highest since the Labour Force Survey series began in 1992, at 75.2 per cent.

Scotland’s employment minister Richard Lochhead said: “The Scottish labour market continues to show resilience in the face of ongoing challenges to the economy with marginal changes over the quarter to the employment, unemployment and inactivity rates. Additionally, the employment rate for women in Scotland was the highest since the Labour Force Survey series began in 1992.

“The ongoing cost-of-living crisis, along with the damaging effects of the UK Government’s recent mini-budget and the continuing adverse consequences of the UK Government’s Brexit policies, are impacting on Scotland’s businesses and workforce.

“Ahead of the Chancellor’s statement, we are engaging with the UK Government to urge the use of its reserved powers and financial resources to help people and businesses through this cost-of-living crisis, to rule out a return to austerity, and through its devolved funding arrangements to better equip the Scottish Government to deal with these exceptional economic challenges.

“The Scottish Government is doing all it can to alleviate the labour shortages reported by Scottish businesses.

“However, the UK Government holds key powers over migration, visas and key parts of employment law. I have been calling on the UK Government to establish a joint taskforce with devolved nations to alleviate the pressures that current labour market shortages pose.”

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He called on the UK Government to “engage meaningfully with the Scottish Government and use all available powers to address these matters”.

UK Minister for Employment Guy Opperman MP said: “The UK labour market has remained resilient in the face of global challenges, with a low unemployment rate and a record number of people on payrolls.

“Whilst these figures are encouraging, we recognise that families are facing rising prices and employers need support to fill vacancies with a reliable workforce.

“Our focus is on making sure people looking for work, and those already in work, have the opportunity to boost their skills and keep more of what they earn, helped by our extensive network of Jobcentres.

“Our priority will always be to support the most vulnerable and we recognise that people are struggling with rising prices, which is why we are protecting millions of those most in need with at least £1,200 of direct payments.”