Scotland business

Scotland's employment rate hits record high

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

Scotland's employment rate reached a record high in the three months to April, according to official figures.

Employment among Scots of working age rose by 22,000 to just over 2.61 million over the quarter - an employment rate of 75.9%.

Meanwhile, unemployment north of the border fell by 3,000 to 91,000.

The jobless rate now stands at 3.3%, compared with the UK figure of 3.8%, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The figures also showed UK wage growth beating market and economist expectations over the three-month period.

Pay rose by 3.4% compared with a year ago. After taking inflation into account, wage growth was 1.4%.

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The Fraser of Allander economic research institute said the record employment rate had been driven largely by recent increases in employment among working age women.

Scottish Employment Minister Jamie Hepburn said labour market figures for women and young people in Scotland continued to outperform the UK.

He added: "Despite the UK government's EU exit plans, Scotland's economy and jobs market continues to perform consistently well.

"And the Scottish government's commitment to fair work for all is again reflected in these results.

"The Scottish government has consistently been clear that the best option for the future wellbeing and prosperity of Scotland is to stay in the European Union."

'Encouraging'

The UK government's Scottish Secretary David Mundell described the latest figures as "encouraging".

He said: "The UK government is investing in Scotland's economy including more than £1.35bn in city and growth deals, creating opportunities, jobs and long-term growth.

"Our investment is having a real impact and I urge the Scottish government to work with us to ensure this continues."

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