News story

Female employment reaches record high

Latest employment statistics show Scottish unemployment continues to fall.

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


Unemployment in Scotland fell by 11,000, to 156,000 in the period August to October 2014, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data released today. The Scottish unemployment rate is 5.6 per cent, which is below the rate of 6 per cent for the whole of the UK.

The labour market statistics also show employment in Scotland has fallen slightly by 3,000 over the three months August to October. The number of those in employment in Scotland now stands at 2,605,000.

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said:

Today’s figures show Scotland’s labour market is continuing to strengthen with unemployment falling and over 28,000 fewer people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance compared to 12 months ago. I am also delighted to see female employment reach a new record high and 17,800 fewer 18-24 year olds claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance than two years ago.

This year has seen Scottish employment increasing to record levels and unemployment down to rates seen before the financial crash. In 2014 people in Scotland voted to stay part of the UK which provides more jobs and more opportunities across the country and greater economic security and stability for businesses and communities.

The small decline in employment this month emphasises the wider global challenges we are facing but, with employment having increased by 52,000 over the past year, the outlook for the year ahead is positive. As we look towards 2015 we will continue with our long-term economic plan to provide a sustained recovery and a more resilient economy, ensuring people and businesses in Scotland can make the most of the opportunities the large and diverse UK market brings.

Headline Statistics for the August to October 2014 quarter:

  • Employment in Scotland fell by 3,000 over the quarter, and increased by 52,000 over the year, to stand at 2,605,000.

  • The Scots employment rate increased over the quarter to 74.0 per cent. The rate is above the UK average of 73.0 per cent.

  • Unemployment in Scotland fell by 11,000 over the quarter and fell by 44,000 over the year. The level now stands at 156,000.

  • At 5.6 per cent, the Scots unemployment rate is below the rate of 6.0 per cent for the UK as a whole.

  • Economic Activity fell by 14,000 over the quarter and now stands at 2,761,000. Also, the Economic Activity rate fell marginally over the quarter to stand at 78.6 per cent.

  • In November 2014, the number of people out of work and claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) was 87,300.

Latest Data for Scotland


The Labour Force Survey (LFS) indicates that the number of people in employment in Scotland from August to October 2014 was 2,605,000. Employment was down by 3,000 compared to the previous three months, and was up by 52,000 compared to the same quarter last year. The employment rate increased on the previous quarter, and it was up by 1.6 p.p. compared to the same quarter last year, at 74.0 per cent. In comparison, the Scottish employment rate is above the UK average.


Unemployment in Scotland was down 11,000 over the quarter August to October 2014, to 156,000. The level was down 44,000 compared to the same quarter last year. The unemployment rate was down 0.4 p.p. on the previous quarter at 5.6 per cent, which is down 1.6 p.p. over the year.

Claimant Count

The claimant count in Scotland, based on the seasonally adjusted number of people claiming JSA, fell by 2,100 from October to 87,300 in November 2014. The level is down by 28,400 on November 2013. The claimant count rate fell by 0.1 p.p. over the month at 3.2 per cent, and is down 1.0 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 August to October 2014 quarter was 2,761,000. This was down 14,000 on the previous quarter, but is up 8,000 on the same point a year ago. Among those aged 16-64 the economic activity rate was 78.6 per cent, down marginally 0.1 p.p. on the previous quarter, and up 0.3 p.p. over the year.

Read more about how the UK Government is growing the economy.

Published 17 December 2014