News story

April Labour Market Statistics for Scotland

Latest labour market figures for Scotland

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Unemployment in Scotland fell by 7,000, to 219,000 in the period December 2010 to February 2011, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data released today. The Scottish unemployment rate is 8.1 per cent, above the UK average unemployment rate of 7.8 per cent.

The labour market statistics also show employment in Scotland has increased by 7,000 over the three months to December 2010 - February 2011. The number of those in employment in Scotland now stands at 2,477,000.

The Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore said:

“These figures cover the period when the severe winter was hampering Scotland’s economic activity, so it is heartening that we have still seen unemployment falling and employment rising. I welcome in particular, the second monthly fall in a row in the number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance.

“At last month’s Budget, the UK Government announced measures to help create more private sector jobs in Scotland. We are cutting Corporation Tax, cutting employers National Insurance contributions and cutting regulation. Combined with our agreement that the high street banks will lend more to Scottish companies this will help create jobs.”

Headline Statistics for the December 2010 - February 2011 quarter:

  • Employment in Scotland increased by 7,000 over the quarter, and increased by 25,000 over the year, to stand at 2,477,000.
  • The Scots employment rate increased over the quarter to 71.0 per cent. The rate is above the UK average of 70.7 per cent.
  • Unemployment in Scotland fell by 7,000 over the quarter.  The level now stands at 219,000.
  • At 8.1 per cent, the Scots unemployment rate is slightly higher than the UK figure of 7.8 per cent.
  • Economic Activity level remained unchanged over the quarter and now stands at  2,695,000. The Economic Activity rate increased slightly over the quarter, and stands at 77.4 per cent.
  • In March 2011, the number of people out of work and claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) was 137,100.  This represents a decrease of 300 over the month, and is the second monthly fall in a row.

Latest Data for Scotland


The Labour Force Survey (LFS) indicates that the number of people in employment in Scotland from December 2010 - February 2011 was 2,477,000.  Employment was up by 7,000 compared to the previous three months, and up by 25,000 compared to the same period last year. The employment rate increased by 0.2 per cent over the quarter, and increased 0.5 per cent over the year, to 71.0 per cent. In comparison, the Scottish employment rate is above the UK average.


Unemployment in Scotland was down 7,000 over the quarter December 2010 - February 2011, to 219,000.  The level was up 10,000 compared to the same quarter last year. The unemployment rate was down 0.3 p.p. from the previous quarter to 8.1 per cent, which is up 0.3 p.p. over the year.

Claimant Count

The claimant count in Scotland, based on the seasonally adjusted number of people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA), fell by 300 from February, to 137,100 in March 2011.  The level is up by 1,300 on March 2010.  The claimant count rate is unchanged over the month at 5.1 per cent, and unchanged over the year. Note, that claimant count figures for the last year have been revised.

Economic Activity

The number of economically active (defined as those in employment or ILO unemployed, and seasonally adjusted) in Scotland in the December 2010 to February 2011 quarter was 2,695,000.  This was unchanged on the previous quarter, and up 35,000 on the same point a year ago.  Among those aged 16-64 the economic activity rate was 77.4 per cent, up 0.1 p.p. on the previous quarter, and up 0.7 p.p. over the year.

To access the data from the ONS site, click on the following link: Select the link “Regional Monthly Data - April 2011” which will prompt you to unzip a folder of Excel files. Then select the file “LMSScot0910” to access the data.

Published 13 April 2011