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Scotland’s unemployment rate falls to record low

The latest unemployment figures have been published (Philip Toscano/PA)
The latest unemployment figures have been published (Philip Toscano/PA)

The unemployment rate in Scotland fell to a record low in the last quarter, according to the latest figures.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the unemployment rate for those aged 16 and over between January and March this year was 3.2%, which was 0.9 percentage points down on the previous quarter.

Across the UK, the unemployment rate for that age group was 3.7%.

The employment rate for those aged 16 to 64 years rose to 75.6% north of the border, which was 1.4 percentage points up on the previous quarter.

In Scotland, there were 2.682 million people aged 16 and over in employment between January and March this year, with 88,000 in that age group unemployed.

Scotland’s unemployment rate last hit a record low of 3.2% for those aged 16 and over in January to March 2019, according to ONS data.

Employment minister Richard Lochhead said: “For January to March 2022, Scotland’s estimated employment rate rose over the quarter to 75.6% while the estimated unemployment rate fell to a record low of 3.2%.

“Separate HMRC early estimates show 2.42 million payrolled employees in Scotland in April 2022, 29,000 more than in February 2020, prior to the pandemic.

“While we continue to face economic challenges, with the rising cost of living, the negative effects of Brexit and the economic impacts of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, the Scottish Government remains committed to doing all we can to help our economy recover.

“By delivering on the actions of the national strategy for economic transformation we will build an economy of secure, sustainable and satisfying jobs.

“In 2022/23 up to £113 million has been allocated to employability services, including £60 million for No One Left Behind and additional investment in the parental employability support fund and Tackling Child Poverty.”

He said the Scottish Government is also continuing to invest in employability and training to support young people through the Young Person’s Guarantee and those who face barriers to employment through its national employability service Fair Start Scotland.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: “It is good news that even more Scots are back in paid employment, while unemployment has fallen further.

“The economic aftershocks of Covid and the war in Ukraine mean real pressures in the cost of living right around the world. The way to tackle this in the longer term is to grow our economy and create high-skilled, high-paid jobs, and we are helping by also providing a £22 billion support package, including boosting the wages of the lowest paid and helping people with energy costs.

“Throughout these challenging times, the UK Government stands ready to do what is needed to support people right across the UK.”