Unemployment in Scotland fell by 12,000, to 219,000 in the period December to February 2012, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data released today.
The Scottish unemployment rate is 8.1 per cent, below the UK average of 8.3 per cent. The labour market statistics also show employment in Scotland has increased by 17,000 over the three months to December to February 2012. The number of those in employment in Scotland now stands at 2,484,000.
The Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore said:
”Today’s figures show an encouraging drop in unemployment and are welcome news, not least for the people who have secured work over the last quarter. We can be hopeful this is a sign that the Scottish labour market is stabilising, but there is clearly still a big challenge ahead to bring down unemployment and get more people back into jobs. We still have a lot of work to do and there is absolutely no room for complacency.
“While these are challenging times for the economy, the UK Government is doing all it can to create the right conditions for businesses to create long-lasting jobs. Our policies are helping to stabilise the economy and maintain confidence as we reduce the deficit and create growth.
“We have also made youth unemployment a priority and have taken significant steps to pull together with organisations across Scotland to remove the barriers to getting young people into work. The National Convention I recently chaired in Dundee was a key step forward in our shared efforts and provided a strong base from which to continue that work.”
* Employment in Scotland rose by 17,000 over the quarter, and rose by 6,000 over the year to stand at 2,484,000.
* The Scots employment rate rose over the quarter to 71.3 per cent. The rate is above the UK average of 70.4 per cent.
* Unemployment in Scotland decreased by 12,000 over the quarter and rose by 4,000 over the year. The level now stands at 219,000.
* At 8.1 per cent, the Scots unemployment rate is now below the UK rate as a whole which stands at 8.3%.
* Economic Activity rose by 6,000 over the quarter and now stands at 2,704,000. The Economic Activity rate remained unchanged over the quarter to remain at 77.7 per cent.
* In March 2012, the number of people out of work and claiming Jobseeker¿s Allowance (JSA) was 143,800.