Unemployment down by 6,000 in Scotland

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Unemployment in Scotland fell by 6,000 in the first three months of the year, new figures show.

The number of people not in work was 118,000 between January and March, down from 124,000 in the previous three months.

Unemployment in Scotland fell by 6,000 in the first three months of the year. Picture: John Devlin

Unemployment in Scotland fell by 6,000 in the first three months of the year. Picture: John Devlin

The number of people in employment also fell slightly by 2,000 to 2.63 million.

Scotland’s unemployment rate was 4.3 per cent over the period, down slightly from 4.5 per cent in the previous quarter and 4.4 per cent in the same quarter last year.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show the unemployment rate for people aged 16 years and over was 4.2 per cent for the UK as a whole.

READ MORE: Unemployment rises in bleak news for Scotland’s jobs market

Northern Ireland had the lowest regional unemployment rate at 3.1 per cent while Wales recorded 4.4% per cent.

Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “The rise in the employment rate is welcome news and shows that despite the challenging economic conditions facing us as a result of Brexit, our economy and jobs market remains strong.

“Our employment rate has increased over the year to 74.7 per cent, with 2,630,000 people now in employment, the unemployment rate has decreased over the quarter and the year to 4.3 per cent and Scotland’s female employment rate has also increased to 71.1 per cent.

“Once more, we continue to outperform the UK on employment and unemployment rates for young people, with 55.6 per cent of young people in employment in Scotland compared to 54.1 per cent of young people in the UK.”