News story

Labour market statistics are 'encouraging news' for Scotland

Scottish Secretary comments on November Labour Market Statistics for Scotland.

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


Unemployment in Scotland increased by 1,000, to 199,000 in the period July to September 2013, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data released today. The Scottish unemployment rate is 7.2 per cent, which is below the average of 7.6 per cent for the whole of the UK.

The labour market statistics also show employment in Scotland has increased by 16,000 over the three months July to September 2013. The number of those in employment in Scotland now stands at 2,547,000.

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said:

Today’s figures show encouraging news for Scotland. The number of Scots claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance has fallen by 21,400 over the past year and is now at its lowest level in over four and a half years. That should be welcomed. Employment in Scotland has also increased by 75,000 over the last twelve month and has risen by a total of 111,000 under this government.

The small increase in unemployment over the last three months, and the recent events at Grangemouth and at the shipyards on the Clyde, are stark reminders there can be no letup in our efforts to stabilise the economy and secure jobs for the future.

It is important that we stick to our plans so we can support the economy as it makes a balanced recovery across all sectors. Many of the indicators including falling inflation and the most recent GDP figures show our efforts are working.

Headline Statistics for the July to September 2013 quarter:

  • Employment in Scotland increased by 16,000 over the quarter, and increased by 75,000 over the year, to stand at 2,547,000.
  • The Scots employment rate increased over the quarter to 72.8 per cent. The rate is above the UK average of 71.8 per cent.
  • Unemployment in Scotland increased by 1,000 over the quarter and fell by 20,000 over the year. The level now stands at 199,000.
  • At 7.2 per cent, the Scots unemployment rate is below the UK rate as a whole at 7.6 per cent.
  • Economic Activity increased by 17,000 over the quarter and now stands at 2,746,000. The Economic Activity rate increased over the quarter to stand at 78.6 per cent.
  • In October 2013, the number of people out of work and claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) was 118,900.

Latest Data for Scotland


The Labour Force Survey (LFS) indicates that the number of people in employment in Scotland from July to September 2013 was 2,547,000. Employment was up by 16,000 compared to the previous three months, and was up by 75,000 compared to the same quarter last year. The employment rate was up on the previous quarter by 0.7 p.p., and it was up by 2.2 p.p. compared to the same quarter last year, at 72.8 per cent. In comparison, the Scottish employment rate is above the UK average.


Unemployment in Scotland was up 1,000 over the quarter July to September 2013, to 199,000. The level was down 20,000 compared to the same quarter last year. The unemployment rate was unchanged on the previous quarter at 7.2 per cent, which is down 0.9 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 2,800 from September to 118,900 in October 2013. The level is down by 21,400 on October 2012. The claimant count rate is down 0.1 p.p. over the month at 4.2 per cent, and is down 0.8 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 July to September 2013 quarter was 2,746,000. This was up 17,000 on the previous quarter, and is up 55,000 on the same point a year ago. Among those aged 16-64 the economic activity rate was 78.6 per cent, up 0.7 p.p. on the previous quarter, and up 1.7 p.p. over the year.

Published 13 November 2013