The number of Scots unemployed rose by 5000 between November and January to 118,000
UNEMPLOYMENT grew in Scotland between November 2017 and January 2018 by 5,000, new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed.
Despite the growth in the number of Scots out of work, across the UK there was a record number of people employed after figures rose by 168,000.
The Scottish unemployment rate now mirrors UK-wide levels of 4.3 per cent where unemployment also rose by 24,000, bringing the total number of people out of work across the UK to 1.45m.
Scotland’s employment rate has increased over the longer term, and the Scottish Government said an extra 80,000 people were employed compared to pre-recession levels.
Reacting to the new ONS statistics, the Scottish Government employability minister Jamie Hepburn said: ““While these results do show a slight decrease in employment over the quarter, our employment rate has increased over the year and the longer term, 1.0 percentage points higher compared with last year, and showing 80,000 more people in employment compared to the pre-recession peak.
“We continue to outperform the UK on employment and unemployment rates for young people and women.” Employability minister Jamie Hepburn
“Once more, we continue to outperform the UK on employment and unemployment rates for young people and women.”
The ONS data shows 71.5 per cent of women and 58.8 per cent of young people are in employment in Scotland, compared to 70.9 per cent of women and 54.5 per cent of young people in across the rest of the UK.
Hepburn also outlined the Scottish Government’s work on employability and training for young people, including plans to train 28,000 new apprentices in 2019 and 5000 foundation apprenticeships in the senior phase of Curriculum for Excellence by 2020.
Hepburn continued: “Despite the UK Government’s pursuit of a punishing programme of austerity, which continues to squeeze both individuals and businesses around Scotland, we are committed to investing to support economic growth.
“However, Brexit remains the single biggest concern to Scottish businesses and the greatest threat to our economy. Our latest analysis, confirmed by the UK Government’s own research, shows Brexit could cost Scotland’s economy £12.7 billion a year by 2030.”
Speaking to CommonSpace, Duncan Thorp from Social Enterprise Scotland said that to create more jobs Scotland would have to do things differently: “Creating more jobs means doing things differently. All government employment and business support services should prioritise social enterprise options.
“We must also grow the number of independent community co-operatives for food, energy and housing and continue exploring innovations like Universal Basic Income.
“Poor quality jobs and rising unemployment are not inevitable.”
“For too many people who are in work, that work is insecure – temporary, zero hours’ contracts, paying less than the living wage.” Shadow economy secretary Jackie Baillie
Scottish Labour’s shadow economy secretary Jackie Baillie said the figures reveal “complacency” from the Scottish Government: “Ministers continue to claim that the fundamentals of our economy are strong.
“Instead, we are seeing rising unemployment and for too many people who are in work, that work is insecure – temporary, zero hours’ contracts, paying less than the living wage.
“We need to see a much more active role from the Scottish Government in economic development. Labour has outlined an industrial strategy which would grow the economy, increase productivity and give a better deal for working people.
“We also should be looking at the £11billion a year the Scottish Government spends on public contracts to deliver more inclusive economic growth.”
Picture courtesy of Andrew Writer
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