The latest labour market statistics, covering the three month period May-July 2012, show that employment in Scotland continues to rise.
This is the 6th consecutive statistics release where employment has increased in Scotland and the 22nd consecutive monthly statistics release where employment in Scotland is higher than in the UK.
The labour market statistics published by the ONS show that headline employment (among people aged 16 and over) increased by 4,000 over the quarter and the headline employment rate (for people aged 16 to 64) rose by 0.1 percentage points to 71.4 per cent. In the UK, the headline employment rate increased by 0.5 percentage points to 71.2 per cent.
The number of unemployed people over the age of 16 in Scotland increased by 4,000, with the rate rising by 0.1 percentage points to 8.2 per cent. In the UK, the unemployment rate fell by 0.1 per cent to 8.1 per cent.
Youth unemployment in Scotland rose by 2.8 percentage points to 24.3 per cent over the year to May-July. However, at 54.8 per cent, Scotland’s youth employment rate remains higher than that of the UK which stands at 51.0 per cent.
On the day of the Women’s Employment Summit the figures show Scotland’s female employment rate is the highest of any UK nation and female unemployment rate is lower than in the UK as a whole.
Over the month of August, the claimant count in Scotland fell by 600 to 141,000, with the rate unchanged at 5.2 per cent.
Finance Secretary John Swinney said:
“The employment rate in Scotland has continued to climb and for the 22nd consecutive monthly statistics release remains higher than the UK rate. Our youth employment rate remains above that of the UK and our female employment rate is the highest of any nation within the UK.
“These positive indications are offset by a rise in unemployment which reinforces our calls for an economic stimulus from the UK Government to boost jobs and promote growth.
“The Scottish Government and our agencies are supporting economic recovery by investing every penny we can in capital infrastructure to build houses, schools and roads to create jobs However more could be done if the UK Government follows suit and responds to our calls for additional capital spending so that we can fund the shovel ready projects that will promote growth, boost employment and improve our communities.
“We are taking a range of measures to unlock Scotland’s economic potential, including modernising the planning system, creating the most favourable business rates environment in the UK and introducing measures such as the Small Business Bonus scheme to support small businesses and I am actively considering what more we can do in the coming budget to boost opportunities for employment.
“Our Opportunities for All programme guarantees every 16-19 year old in Scotland the offer of a place in education or training and our support for Education Maintenance allowances and free education ensure young people can access the training available.
“Within the powers that we have this government is pulling every available lever to support employment. There is no doubt that with the full fiscal powers of independence, the Scottish Government could do even more to strengthen our economy. But in the meantime, we call on the UK Government to help, rather than hinder, the process of economic recovery.”