News story

April Labour Market Statistics for Scotland

Unemployment in Scotland rose by 8,000 in the period January to March 2016, and now stands at 169,000.

According to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data released today, the Scottish unemployment rate is 6.2 per cent, which is above the rate of 5.1 per cent for the whole of the UK.

The labour market statistics also show employment in Scotland fell by 53,000 over the three months January to March 2016. The number of those in employment in Scotland now stands at 2,578,000.

The Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell, said:

These figures are a reminder of the real challenges facing Scotland’s economy. We know that we are experiencing a global economic slowdown, exacerbated in Scotland by the current downturn in the oil and gas sector. It is now more important than ever that Scotland’s two governments work together to do everything possible to boost the economy, create jobs and increase prosperity. The UK Government has an ambitious plan to support economic growth right across the country, investing in the infrastructure we need and backing businesses. That includes investing in UK City Deals across Scotland.

Headline statistics for the January to March 2016 quarter:

  • Employment in Scotland fell by 53,000 over the quarter, and by 45,000 over the year, to stand at 2,578,000.

  • The Scots employment rate decreased over the quarter at 73.1 per cent. The rate is below the UK average of 74.2 per cent.

  • Unemployment in Scotland rose by 8,000 over the quarter and is up 2,000 over the year. The level now stands at 169,000.

  • At 6.2 per cent, the Scottish unemployment rate is above the UK’s rate of 5.1 per cent.

  • Economic activity fell by 46,000 over the quarter and now stands at 2,748,000. Also, the economic activity rate decreased over the year to stand at 78 per cent.

  • In April 2016, the number of people out of work and claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance was 57,400 and claimant count, including Universal Credit was 72,600.

Latest Data for Scotland:

Employment

The Labour Force Survey indicates that the number of people in employment in Scotland from January to March 2016 was 2,578,000. Employment was down by 53,000 compared to the previous three months, and fell by 45,000 compared to the same quarter last year. The employment rate was down 1.5 percentage points on the previous quarter, and fell by 1.3 percentage points compared to the same quarter last year, at 73.1 per cent. In comparison, the Scottish employment rate fell below the UK average of 74.2 per cent.

Unemployment

Unemployment in Scotland was up by 8,000 over the quarter January to March 2016 at 169,000. The level was up 2,000 on the same quarter last year. The unemployment rate was up 0.4 percentage points on the previous quarter at 6.2 per cent, which is up 0.2 percentage points over the year.

Jobseeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit

The number of people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA), decreased by 600 from March to 57,400 in April 2016. The level is down by 21,100 on April 2015. The claimant count level (JSA and Universal Credit) is up 100 over the month at 72,600 and the rate is unchanged over the month at 2.6 per cent, which is down 0.2 percentage points over the year.

Economic Activity

The number of economically active (defined as those in employment or ILO unemployed, and seasonally adjusted) in Scotland in the January to March 2016 quarter was 2,748,000. This was down 46,000 on the previous quarter, and by 43,000 on prior year levels. Among those aged 16-64 the economic activity rate was 78.0 per cent, down 1.3 percentage points on the previous quarter, and down 1.3 percentage points over the year.