New labour market statistics show that unemployment in Scotland fell by 7,000 over the quarter to February – the fifth consecutive monthly falll, while at the same time employment rose by 7,000 – the ninth consecutive monthly rise.
Scotland’s employment rate increased by 0.2 per cent to 71.0 per cent over the quarter – a higher employment rate than the 70.7 per cent across the UK as a whole.
And economic inactivity fell by 0.1 per cent in Scotland to 22.6 per cent – lower than the 23.2 per cent across the UK as a whole.
The claimant count decreased in Scotland by 300 in March, in contrast to the 700 increase across the UK.
First Minister Alex Salmond said: “Today’s figures present further signs that Scotland’s economy is strengthening, and show the Scottish Government’s robust actions to support jobs, skills and training are delivering real results.”