SCOTLAND’S jobless total is continuing to rise, the latest figures today show.
Unemployment increased by 6,000, to 234,000 between November last year and January. The Scottish unemployment rate is 8.7 per cent, above the UK average of 8.4 per cent.
The number of people in work has also fallen by 11,000 over the the same period and now stands at 2,463,000.
The Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore said: “These figures reflect the challenging economic climate. They are a strong reminder that getting people into work is our first priority, especially as the Scottish unemployment rate remains above the rest of the UK.
“We are doing all we can to get Scotland working. The UK Government is laying the foundations for more sustainable growth in Scotland and creating the conditions for businesses to invest in good quality jobs.”
The Scottish Government says the employment rate in Scotland is higher than the UK as a whole for the sixteenth consecutive month, with the rate at 70.8 per cent in Scotland compared to 70.3 per cent in the UK.
Finance Secretary John Swinney said: “It is clear from these figures that we need sustained action in next week’s UK Budget to support economic recovery.
“The Scottish Government is using every lever currently available to us to secure new investment and create and safeguard jobs, in the face of severe cuts from Westminster.”