Scotland business

Scottish unemployment total rises by 16,000

Jobcentre Plus Image copyright PA

Unemployment in Scotland rose by 16,000 between November and January to stand at 171,000, according to official figures.

The jobless rate north of the border is now 6.1%, compared with 5.1% for the UK as a whole.

UK unemployment fell by 28,000 over the same period to 1.68 million.

Meanwhile, employment in Scotland increased by 17,000, to reach 2,631,000. At 74.5%, the rate is above the UK average of 74.1%.

In February, the number of people out of work and claiming Jobseeker's Allowance stood at 57,500, a fall of 3,000 from January.

Scotland's youth employment level increased by 15,000 over the year to reach its highest November to January level since 2009.

'Significant challenges'

Scotland's Fair Work Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: "Scottish employment continues to rise and I am very pleased to see that we are outperforming the UK on both employment and inactivity.

"Youth employment has also been one of our success stories in recent months, and today's figures are further evidence of strong performance.

"However, we are still seeing evidence of ongoing volatility in Scotland's labour market despite the positive longer term trends.

"The low price of oil and its wider effects remain one of a number of significant challenges affecting employment opportunities and the latest statistics on unemployment demonstrate that there can be absolutely no let-up in our efforts."

The UK government's Scottish Secretary David Mundell said the figures were "a reminder of the challenges" facing Scotland's economy, in particular in the oil and gas industry.

He added: "It is vital that Scotland's two governments work together to do everything possible to boost the Scottish economy.

"Earlier this year we announced a significant package of support for the oil and gas industry and the wider north east economy - this is an excellent example of what can be achieved."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Mundell said the figures were "a reminder of the challenges" facing Scotland's economy, in particular in the oil and gas sector

Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) general secretary Grahame Smith said: "A number of factors are likely to slow jobs growth this year such as the weakening global economy and the crisis in the oil and gas sector.

"A further dose of spending cuts in today's Budget will only serve to render the Scottish labour market less resilient in the face of current headwinds."

More on this story

Related Internet links

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