Scotland business

Unemployment in Scotland falls by 14,000 to 96,000

Crowd in Edinburgh street Image copyright Getty Images

Scottish unemployment fell by 14,000 to 96,000 in the three months to December, according to official figures.

The unemployment rate for people aged 16 and over now stands at 3.5%, compared with 3.8% for the UK as a whole.

Meanwhile, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the number of people aged 16 and over in employment rose by 37,000, to stand at 2,680,000.

Scotland's employment rate of 75% was below the UK figure of 76.5%.

The increase in employment came as average weekly wages in the UK returned to pre-economic crisis levels for the first time since March 2008.

Weekly pay reached £511 in the three months to December - the last time they were this high, after adjusting for inflation, was before the downturn.

Excluding bonuses, earnings grew at an annual rate of 3.2% in the three-month period.

ONS deputy head of labour market statistics Myrto Miltiadou said: "In real terms, regular earnings have finally risen above the level seen in early 2008, but pay including bonuses is still below its pre-downturn peak."

More on this story