Scotland's unemployment rate hits new low at 3.4%

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Image source, PA

Scotland's unemployment rate fell to a new record low over the winter months, according to official figures.

Between November and January, the jobless total fell by 9,000 to 94,000.

The new unemployment rate of 3.4% was well below the UK rate of 3.9%.

Meanwhile, the number of Scots in work rose by 13,000 to 2,592,000, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The Scottish employment rate for those of working age now stands at 75.3%.

Scottish Business Minister Jamie Hepburn welcomed the fall in unemployment - but warned that leaving the European Union could "cost jobs".

Mr Hepburn said: "Despite the huge and continued challenges of Brexit, the Scottish economy and jobs market continues to strengthen.

"Scotland is performing particularly well on unemployment rates for women and young people. At 2.6% for women and 7.4% for young people, both rates are at record lows and significantly lower than in the rest of the UK.

"However, while Scotland's economy and jobs market continues to grow, the UK government's Brexit plans, in whatever form, will cost jobs, make people poorer and damage our society."

Image source, Getty Images

The UK government's Scottish Secretary, David Mundell, said it was "great news" that employment continued to rise in Scotland.

He added: "Scotland's two governments are working together to strengthen our economy and create jobs, with initiatives such as our growth deal programme beginning to reap rewards.

"In the last few weeks we have co-signed the £250m Ayrshire growth deal and announced £345m in joint government funding for the Borderlands.

"The UK government's investment in growth deals in Scotland is now more than £1.35bn, and shows our huge commitment to growing Scotland's job sector."

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