News story

July labour market statstics for Scotland

Unemployment in Scotland increased by 8,000, to 205,000 in the period March to May 2013, according to ONS data released today.

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


The Office for National Statstics data showed that the Scottish unemployment rate is 7.5 per cent, which is below the average of 7.8 per cent for the whole of the UK.

The labour market statistics also show employment in Scotland has increased by 4,000 over the three months March to May 2013. The number of those in employment in Scotland now stands at 2,511,000.

The Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore said:

“After a period of improving labour market conditions there is a mixed picture this month. The news that unemployment in Scotland has increased slightly over the last quarter is disappointing. It is better news that there is an increase in employment and a fall in the number of people claiming JSA. This emphasises the importance of Scotland’s two governments putting all their efforts towards creating opportunities and getting people back into long term sustainable employment.”

“There are encouraging signs however with 9,600 fewer people claiming benefits than last year, 75,000 more people are in employment since May 2010 and private sector employment increasing by over 145,000 over the same period.

“Against a backdrop of increasing business and consumer confidence, getting people back into work by building a strong stable economy is the key priority for this Government.”

The Secretary of State has also welcomed news that Scottish GDP for the 1st quarter of 2013 was up 0.4%:

“The latest GDP figures are welcome news and shows that the UK is delivering for Scotland as part of devolution.

“Scotland is benefiting from the security, scale and influence provided by the UK, pooling resources from a UK wide tax base, unrestricted access to a single domestic market from which we do two thirds of our trade with the same regulation in Wick as in Weymouth. In addition, we have the considerable efforts of UKTI and the diplomatic and embassy network working for Scotland, exploiting new opportunities for businesses in markets around the world. Together with a stable budget that is allocated from Edinburgh this is providing Scottish companies with the best of both worlds and the certainty that they need to flourish ”

Headline Statistics for the March to May 2013 quarter:

  • Employment in Scotland increased by 4,000 over the quarter, and increased by 20,000 over the year, to stand at 2,511,000.

  • The Scots employment rate increased over the quarter to 71.9 per cent. The rate is above the UK average of 71.4 per cent.

  • Unemployment in Scotland increased by 8,000 over the quarter and fell by 10,000 over the year. The level now stands at 205,000.

  • At 7.5 per cent, the Scots unemployment rate is below the UK rate as a whole at 7.8 per cent.

  • Economic Activity increased by 12,000 over the quarter and now stands at 2,716,000. The Economic Activity rate increased over the quarter to stand at 77.9 per cent.

  • In June 2013, the number of people out of work and claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) was 133,400.

Latest Data for Scotland


The Labour Force Survey (LFS) indicates that the number of people in employment in Scotland from March to May 2013 was 2,511,000. Employment was up by 4,000 compared to the previous three months, and was up by 20,000 compared to the same quarter last year. The employment rate was up on the previous quarter by 0.2 p.p., and it was up by 0.6 p.p. compared to the same quarter last year, at 71.9 per cent. In comparison, the Scottish employment rate is above the UK average.


Unemployment in Scotland was up 8,000 over the quarter March to May 2013, to 205,000. The level was down 10,000 compared to the same quarter last year. The unemployment rate was up by 0.3 p.p. on the previous quarter at 7.5 per cent, which is down 0.4 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 1,600 from May to 133,400 in June 2013. The level is down by 9,600 on June 2012. The claimant count rate is down 0.1 p.p. over the month at 4.7 per cent, and is down 0.3 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 March to May 2013 quarter was 2,716,000. This was up 12,000 on the previous quarter, and is up 10,000 on the same point a year ago. Among those aged 16-64 the economic activity rate was 77.9 per cent, up 0.5 p.p. on the previous quarter, and up 0.3 p.p. over the year.

Published 17 July 2013