News story

Employment at record high

February Labour Market Statistics for Scotland show Scottish unemployment is down again.

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

Get Britain Working

Unemployment in Scotland decreased by 15,000, to 149,000, in the period October to December 2014, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data released today. The Scottish unemployment rate is 5.4 per cent, which is below the rate of 5.7 per cent for the whole of the UK.

The labour market statistics also show employment in Scotland rose by 20,000 over the three months October to December. The number of those in employment in Scotland now stands at 2,625,000.

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Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said:

Today’s employment figures show this Government’s long term economic plan is working. Employment has reached a new record high, more women are in work than ever before and the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance has fallen to its lowest level since August 2008.

Since 2010 we have cut taxes for business, created incentives for new jobs, tackled the deficit and we are continuing to work to rebalance the economy. As a result there are now 187,000 more people in work, inflation is at a record low and wages are on the increase meaning more hard working Scots and their families have more money in their pockets.

With economic activity and employment levels in Scotland above the UK average, it is clear our businesses are making the most of the opportunities that comes with from being part of the UK with our shared currency, pensions and a large and diverse economy which is forecast to grow faster than any other G7 country in the last year.

We’ve had to take difficult decisions and tackle the deep economic problems we inherited head on. These figures today show our decisions are benefiting communities across Scotland.

DWP infographic

Headline Statistics for the October to December 2014 quarter:

Employment in Scotland increased by 20,000 over the quarter, and increased by 63,000 over the year, to stand at 2,625,000.

The Scots employment rate increased over the quarter to 74.4 per cent. The rate is above the UK average of 73.2 per cent.

Unemployment in Scotland fell by 15,000 over the quarter and fell by 48,000 over the year. The level now stands at 149,000.

At 5.4 per cent, the Scots unemployment rate is below the rate of 5.7 per cent for the UK as a whole.

Economic Activity increased by 5,000 over the quarter and now stands at 2,773,000. Also, the Economic Activity rate increased over the quarter to stand at 78.7 per cent.

In January 2015, the number of people out of work and claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) was 81,100.

Latest Data for Scotland


The Labour Force Survey (LFS) indicates that the number of people in employment in Scotland from October to December 2014 was 2,625,000. Employment was up by 20,000 compared to the previous three months, and was up by 63,000 compared to the same quarter last year. The employment rate increased on the previous quarter, and it was up by 1.7 p.p. compared to the same quarter last year, at 74.4 per cent. In comparison, the Scottish employment rate is above the UK average.


Unemployment in Scotland was down 15,000 over the quarter October to December 2014, to 149,000. The level was down 48,000 compared to the same quarter last year. The unemployment rate was down 0.6 p.p. on the previous quarter at 5.4 per cent, which is down 1.8 p.p. over the year.

Claimant Count

The claimant count in Scotland, based on the seasonally adjusted number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), fell by 3,200 from December to 81,100 in January 2015. The level is down by 29,200 on January 2014. The claimant count rate fell by 0.1 p.p. over the month at 3.0 per cent, and is down 1.1 p.p. 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 October to December 2014 quarter was 2,773,000. This was up 5,000 on the previous quarter, and is up 15,000 on the same point a year ago. Among those aged 16-64 the economic activity rate was 78.7 per cent, up 0.1 p.p. on the previous quarter, and up 0.2 p.p. over the year.

Published 18 February 2015