Scottish unemployment rate increases

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Unemployment in Scotland has risen by a total of 65,000 during 2010

Unemployment in Scotland rose by 9,000 over the past three months, according to official statistics.

The labour market statistics showed there were 216,000 unemployed people.

This represented 8.1% of the workforce - higher than the UK average unemployment rate of 7.8%.

Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore said the figures showed the "scale of the challenge we face in getting the economy back to health".

The International Labour Organisation data showed there were 35,000 more unemployed people in the three months from March to May than during the same period last year.

The claimant count in Scotland, based on the seasonally adjusted number of people claiming Job Seeker's Allowance, fell by 600 to 133,200 between May and June.

'Human cost'

However, this represented an increase of 5,500 compared to June 2009.

Mr Moore said it was crucial the Scottish and UK governments worked together to help those who had lost their jobs get back into work as quickly as possible.

He added: "These figures show the real human cost of the economic legacy the government has inherited.

"Our budget will tackle the record deficit and help us achieve balanced economic growth across the UK.

"These measures will keep interest rates lower for longer and encourage investment, both of which are important for the creation of new jobs."

Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney said the figures demonstrated both the legacy of the previous UK government's handling of the public finances and the dangers of the new coalition's cuts, which he claimed were "too deep, too quick".

"Scotland is continuing to see fragile signs of recovery. Today's figures highlight a fifth consecutive monthly fall in the number of people claiming Job Seeker's Allowance, and our unemployment rate remains below many other parts of the UK such as London, Wales, the North East of England, North West, and Yorkshire and the Humber," he said.

"But today's figures again demonstrate that recovery is in its early stages - which is why the UK government is wrong to risk jobs and recovery through spending cuts that are too quick and too deep, and come on top of those already imposed on Scotland by the previous Westminster administration."

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