Scots jobless rate rises above UK

Jobcentre The Scottish unemployment rate now stands at 8.2%, which is above the UK average of 8.1%.

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Unemployment in Scotland has increased for the first time in six months.

The number of jobless rose by 4,000, to 223,000 between May and July, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) data.

The Scottish unemployment rate now stands at 8.2%, which is above the UK average of 8.1%.

Employment in Scotland rose by 4,000 over the quarter, and remained unchanged over the year, to stand at 2.49m.

In the UK as a whole, unemployment during the same period dropped by 7,000 to 2.59 million.

The claimant count in Scotland fell fell by 600 from July to 141,900 in August.

The Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore, said: "These figures show the scale of the challenge we face in these difficult economic conditions.

"Any fall in the number of people working in Scotland is a serious issue and has a critical impact on the households and individuals affected."

Scotland's Finance Secretary John Swinney highlighted the positive aspects of the latest figures.

He 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.

He added: "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."

"Disappointing"

The chief executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce described the latest figures as "disappointing".

Liz Cameron said: "The best way to tackle unemployment is to support those who create wealth and jobs in our economy, namely private sector businesses, and to ensure that those entering the labour market are equipped with the skills that employers need to succeed."

Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) general secretary Grahame Smith, said: "The trend towards the replacement of full time jobs by part-time jobs in Scotland is a continuing concern.

"13,000 additional part-time jobs over the year compared to 23,000 fewer full-time jobs fits the pattern of increasing levels of underemployment which STUC has consistently highlighted."

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