A selection of recently published positive statistics has shown that the Scottish Government’s approach to economic recovery is paying off, as the latest employment statistics were released today.
The figures show that employment in Scotland rose by 0.3% in the last quarter to reach 72.1%, beating the equivalent UK figures that saw employment rise by 0.1% to 71.5% in the same period.
The same figures also showed that unemployment in Scotland fell by 0.1% to a rate of 7.2% – lower than the UK figure of 7.8% which was unchanged on the previous quarter.
Meanwhile the Scottish Government’s focus on youth unemployment continues to pay off with the ninth consecutive fall in youth unemployment in Scotland. The rate of youth unemployment has fallen by 2.0% or 14,000 in the last year to 19.1%, while in the rest of the UK youth unemployment has increased by 15,000 to 973,000.
The latest employment statistics came amid more good news for the Scottish economy as a report by Ernst & Young showed that Scottish exports are set to outstrip the rest of the UK over the next five years. The firm’s Export Goods Monitor projects that Scottish exports will grow from £18.2 billion in 2012 to £20.1 billion in 2017, in today’s prices.
A Scottish Government report earlier this week welcomed the positive momentum in Scotland’s economy, highlighting GDP data which showed that Scotland’s economy grew by 1.2% in the year to Q1 2013, compared to 0.3% growth for the UK as a whole.
Commenting, SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn who sits on the Finance Committee said:
“These latest figures are the latest in a series of positive indicators that show the Scottish Government’s approach to economic recovery is paying off.
“The strong action the Scottish Government has taken on youth unemployment is clearly paying dividends with the ninth consecutive fall in youth unemployment in Scotland. That is no accident and is in no small part a result of our Opportunities for All scheme, which guarantees a place in work, training or education for 16-19 year olds.
“Meanwhile Scotland’s economy is outperforming the UK’s and a new report has predicted far stronger export growth for Scotland in the years to come.
“Taken together they paint an extremely encouraging picture of Scotland’s road to economic recovery.
“There is of course still a significant way to travel as we rebuild our economy, but the fact that Scotland is outperforming the rest of the UK shows what we can do with the limited powers available to us in Scotland.
“With the full powers of an independent Scotland we could do even more to create jobs and grow our economy, something that only a Yes vote in next year’s referendum can secure for us.”