News story

February Labour Market Statistics for Scotland

Read the latest Labour market Statistics for Scotland

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

Unemployment in Scotland fell by 13,000, to 216,000 in the period October to December 2010, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data released today. The Scottish unemployment rate is 8.0 per cent, just above the UK average unemployment rate of 7.9 per cent.

The labour market statistics also show employment in Scotland has increased by 23,000 over the three months to October - December 2010. The number of those in employment in Scotland now stands at 2,488,000.

The Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore said:

“The final quarter of 2010 has seen falling unemployment and rising employment in Scotland and I welcome the news that more Scots were in work. However, these numbers demonstrate this Government must to do all it can to overcome the effects of the irresponsible economic policy we inherited less than a year ago.

“The increase in the number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance in January shows the Government has to work hard throughout this Parliament to create the conditions that enable all businesses to thrive and create more sustainable jobs.

“The Government’s priority is sustainable economic growth based on healthy public finances. Last week we achieved an agreement with the banks to increase lending to SMEs by 15 per cent, which means lending to Scottish businesses could now increase by around £800 million beyond current levels.  This will help create the environment for the private sector to succeed, and will help Scottish companies to grow and create long-lasting jobs.”

Headline Statistics for the October - December 2010 quarter:

  • Employment in Scotland increased by 23,000 over the quarter, and fell by 2,000 over the year, to stand at 2,488,000.
  • The Scots employment rate increased by 0.4 percentage points over the quarter to 71.1 per cent. The rate is above the UK average of 70.5 per cent.
  • Unemployment in Scotland fell by 13,000 over the quarter.  The level now stands at 216,000.
  • At 8.0 per cent, the Scots unemployment rate is slightly higher than the UK figure of 7.9 per cent.
  • Economic Activity level increased by 10,000 over the quarter and now stands at  2,704,000. The Economic Activity rate remained unchanged over the quarter, and stands at 77.4 per cent.
  • In January 2011, the number of people out of work and claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) was 139,700.  This represents an increase of 1,400 over the month, and is the fourth monthly increase in a row.

Latest Data for Scotland


The Labour Force Survey (LFS) indicates that the number of people in employment in Scotland from October - December 2010 was 2,488,000.  Employment was up by 23,000 compared to the previous three months, and down by 2,000 compared to the same period last year. The employment rate increased by 0.4 per cent over the quarter, and fell 0.4 per cent over the year, to 71.1 per cent. In comparison, the Scottish employment rate is above the UK average.


Unemployment in Scotland was down 13,000 over the quarter October - December 2010, to 216,000.  The level was up 10,000 compared to the same quarter last year. The unemployment rate was down 0.5 p.p. from the previous quarter to 8.0 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), increased by 1,400 from December, to 139,700 in January 2011.  The level is up by 700 on January 2010.  The claimant count rate is up by 0.1 percentage points over the month to 5.0 per cent, and unchanged 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 - December 2010 quarter was 2,704,000.  This was up 10,000 on the previous quarter, and up 8,000 on the same point a year ago.  Among those aged 16-64 the economic activity rate was 77.4 per cent, unchanged on the previous quarter, and down 0.1 p.p. over the year.

To access the data from the ONS site, follow the link below:

Select the link “Regional Monthly Data - February 2011” which will prompt you to unzip a folder of Excel files. Then select the file “LMSScot0910” to access the data.

Published 16 February 2011