UNEMPLOYMENT in Scotland fell by 26,000 between April and June, with the number of people out of work now lower than at any time in the last seven years.
The jobless total north of the border now stands at 143,000, fresh data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows.
The Scottish unemployment rate is now 5.2%, slightly above the rate of 4.9% for the UK as a whole.
The statistics also show employment in Scotland increased by 51,000 over the quarter, with the number of people in work now standing at 2,629,000.
The figures were welcomed by the UK and Scottish governments.
Scottish Secretary David Mundell, said: “I welcome today’s positive figures showing a record increase in the number of people in Scotland in work, and the number of people out of work at its lowest since 2009.
“While we cannot be complacent as we enter a period of adjustment, today’s figures show that we enter the EU negotiations from a position of strength. Our continued priority must still be to work closely with the Scottish Government as ‘team UK’ to promote economic growth and prosperity.”
Scotland’s Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “There is much to be welcomed from these figures, including 65,000 more people being employed now than at the pre-recession high. However, we know that there is more that we can and must do.
“The Scottish economy has strong fundamentals, but as businesses face uncertainty during negotiations over our future relationship with the EU, we will ensure we work hard to protect Scotland’s relationship with the EU and strive to make the most of current and future opportunities in our economy.
He added: “The figures we see published today once again demonstrate Scotland is outperforming the rest of the UK in terms of youth employment. We are determined to do even more and our ambition is to reduce youth unemployment by 40% between 2014 and 2021 through the implementation of Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy - Developing the Young Workforce.
“I am also very pleased that the female employment rate has risen over the quarter. This is a testament to the work we have been doing to ensure women have the same equality of opportunities in the labour market as their male counterparts.”