Scotland

Scottish unemployment rate hits record low at 3.7%

File photo of the entrance to a Jobcentre Plus Image copyright PA

Unemployment in Scotland has fallen to a record low, according to official figures.

At 3.7%, the jobless rate is below that of the UK, which sits at 4.1%.

The Office for National Statistics said the number of people seeking work fell by 13,000 between August and October - a drop of 11.2% - with Scottish unemployment at a total of 100,000.

ONS data revealed 75% of the working age population, those aged between 16 and 64, had some form of work.

Scotland's employment rate was below that of the UK as a whole, which is at 75.7%.

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The data also showed a small reduction in the number of people in work.

This fell by 1,000 over the period, with 2,633,000 people aged 16 and over in employment.

Joblessness fell among both males and females, with the number of men out of work down by 8,000 over the period to 58,000, while the number of women without a job decreased 5,000 to 42,000.

Scotland's business minister, Jamie Hepburn, said: "This is our lowest unemployment rate on record.

"Although overall employment fell very slightly over the quarter, on employment for women and young people, we continue to outperform the UK with a rate of 71.3% for women, higher than the UK rate of 71.2%, and 58.8% for young people, higher than the UK rate of 55.9%."

Jobs growth

He said Scotland had lower rates of unemployment than the UK for both women and young people.

"We remain committed to creating the right economic environment for jobs growth - and our record on unemployment shows this is working," he added.

"However, Brexit remains the biggest threat to Scotland's prosperity and these statistics reinforce the urgent need to ensure the positive work we are doing to strengthen our economy is not undone."

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: "I welcome the news that fewer people are unemployed in Scotland.

"However, it is of great concern that economic activity keeps falling and is below that of the UK.

"I urge the Scottish government to focus on using its extensive powers and work with the UK government on ensuring our economy thrives rather than making Scotland the highest taxed place in the UK."

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