Press release

MARCH LABOUR MARKET STATISTICS FOR SCOTLAND 2017

Unemployment in Scotland fell by 16,000 in the period November 2016 to January 2017, and now stands at 129,000, according to ONS data.

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The Scottish unemployment rate has fallen 4.7 per cent, which is the same as the rate for the whole of the UK.

The labour market statistics also show that employment in Scotland increased by 16,000 over the three months from November 2016 to January 2017. The number of those in employment in Scotland now stands at 2,608,000.

The Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell, said:

This is good news, with more people in work and unemployment down. We want to see this continue and for the Scottish economy to start to close the worrying gap we’ve seen open up with the rest of the UK.

The UK is supporting Scotland’s economy through the £1.2 billion funding boost for the Scottish budget over the last five months, as well as direct investment by the UK in connectivity, innovation, industry, and ensuring that every major city in Scotland either has or is in negotiations for a City Deal.

The Scottish Government need to use this funding, and their significant policy levers, to make Scotland more competitive and to secure its economy. That includes changing course and taking the biggest threat to Scotland’s economy, the call for a second independence referendum, off the table altogether.

Headline statistics for the November 2016 to January 2017 quarter:

• Employment in Scotland increased by 16,000 over the quarter, and fell by 21,000 over the year, to stand at 2,608,000.

• The Scots employment rate increased by 0.4 p.p. over the quarter to 73.7 per cent. The rate is below the UK average of 74.6 per cent.

• Unemployment in Scotland fell by 16,000 over the quarter and is down 42,000 over the year. The level now stands at 129,000.

• At 4.7 per cent, the Scottish unemployment rate is the same rate as that of the UK.

• Economic activity was unchanged over the quarter and now stands at 2,736,000. Also, the economic activity rate decreased over the year to stand at 77.4 per cent.

• In February 2017, the number of people out of work and claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance was 48,000 and claimant count, including Universal Credit was 75,000.

Latest Data for Scotland:

Employment

The Labour Force Survey indicates that the number of people in employment in Scotland from November 2016 to January 2017 was 2,608,000. Employment was up by 16,000 compared to the previous three months, and down by 21,000 compared to the same quarter last year. The employment rate was up 0.4 percentage points on the previous quarter, and down by 0.7 percentage points compared the same quarter last year. By comparison, the Scottish employment rate is 73.7 per cent below the UK average of 74.6 per cent.

Unemployment

Unemployment in Scotland was down by 16,000 over the quarter November 2016 to January 2017 at 129,000. The level was down 42,000 on the same quarter last year. The unemployment rate was down 0.6 p.p. on the previous quarter at 4.7 per cent, which is down 1.4 p.p. over the year.

Jobseeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit

The number of people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) fell by 2,000 to 48,000 in February 2017. The level is down by 10,100 on February 2016. The claimant count level (JSA and Universal Credit) is down 1,300 over the month at 75,000 and the rate is unchanged over the month and up 0.1 p.p. the year to 2.7 per cent.

Economic Activity

The number of economically active (defined as those in employment or ILO unemployed, and seasonally adjusted) in Scotland in the November 2016 to January 2017 quarter was 2,736,000. This was unchanged on the previous quarter, and down by 63,000 on prior year levels. Among those aged 16-64 the economic activity rate was 77.4 per cent, unchanged on the previous quarter, and down 1.9 p.p. over the year.

Published 15 March 2017