Scotland business

Scottish jobless figure rises despite employment rise

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionProduction rose by 2.1% in Scotland in the first quarter of the year

The number of people out of work in Scotland rose by 13,000 to 192,000 over the three months to May, according to official figures.

However, employment also increased by 12,000 over the same period.

The Scottish government said the rise indicated an increasing number of people were entering the jobs market to look for work.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the number of people in work now stands at 2,587,000.

Meanwhile, UK unemployment fell by 121,000 to 2.12 million - its lowest level in nearly six years.

The Scottish unemployment rate now stands at 6.9%, which is 0.4% above the total for the whole of the UK.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), fell by 4,000 in June to stand at 96,000. The figure is 35,500 lower than the same period last year.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said: "As the economy recovers more people are moving from inactivity into the labour market to look for employment.

"With this boost to economic activity it is not surprising that both employment and unemployment have risen over the quarter - albeit unemployment is still down over the year.

"These figures support the emerging body of evidence which all point to the recovery in Scotland continuing to gather momentum."

Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Scottish Labour said women accounted for most of the rise in Scottish unemployment over the three months to May

According to the latest data, female employment reached a record high of 1,249,000 between March and May.

But Scottish Labour said women accounted for 80% of the rise in overall unemployment over that period.

The party's deputy finance spokeswoman, Jenny Marra, added: "With the economy slowly growing, we see the rest of the UK benefiting from a drop in unemployment, particularly among women, but in Scotland we appear to be making slower progress.

"It would seem that the choices being made by the SNP government are disproportionately impacting on women who are more likely to be working in the public sector or relying on insecure jobs."

'Record employment'

The UK government's Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said: "Today's news reminds us we need to continue creating the right conditions to get people into jobs.

"While it is disappointing to see unemployment rise at any time, the news comes against a backdrop of record overall employment, female employment and record private sector employment.

"The number of economically active people in Scotland is rising and the number of Scots claiming unemployment has now fallen for 16 consecutive months."

Scottish Chambers of Commerce chief executive Liz Cameron said: "The latest rise in Scotland's level of unemployment provides further evidence of the need for there to be a stronger practical plan in place to ensure that the growth and skill needs of business are being met by the aspirations and relevant skills of those individuals who are unemployed.

"It is clear that we must revisit the support environment to enable more females to enter and remain in the job market, together with an up-skilling and re-skilling plan, as a matter of real urgency."

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites