Sources of concern
Whichever way you count them - and there are many ways - those Scottish jobless figures are a potential source of concern.
There is, of course, a complex political blame game under way: a form of multi-dimensional chess. (Who said: "with pawns only, instead of kings and queens?" Take that person's name.)
But consider the data first. Overall unemployment in Scotland has risen by 16,000 in the three months to January. That contrasts with a fall of 33,000 in the UK as a whole.
The narrower claimant count in Scotland logged a drop of 600 since January. But it is still up sharply over the year - and contrasts with a much larger proportional drop in the UK claimant count of 32,300.
Some other stats. Long-term unemployment continues to rise. And, crucially, another number has risen. That is the register of those defined as "economically inactive": either because they are out of work or students or on long-term sick leave.
Analysts reckon that one factor is that young people facing the dole are turning to study instead.
In the longer term, that could of course be a plus factor - IF those young people gain additional skills thereby and IF the economy then picks up sufficiently to allow them to deploy those skills.
Otherwise, the worry is that they are simply delaying their entry to the dole queue.
Another concern. Looming cuts in public sector spending will affect the jobs market - either directly or indirectly through contracts for suppliers. Scotland, with a substantial dependence on the public sector, could be vulnerable.
To the chess game, then. UK Labour ministers say the overall decline in the jobless total argues for continued effort to sustain the economy - and not, they imply, the early cuts in spending projected by the Conservatives.
The Tories say the economy still appears stagnant: they pin the blame for that upon Labour.
The Liberal Democrats focus upon economic inactivity. They urge the creation of "real jobs" rather than training schemes. And they note those relatively poor figures in Scotland, blaming Labour.
Scottish SNP ministers lay stress upon the "vital importance" of their economic recovery plan, arguing that it would be jeopardised by over-hasty cuts and would be assisted by further capital acceleration.
To conclude, Scotland still has a lower rate of unemployment than the UK as a whole. But the gap is narrowing.
The trend is a source of concern.