News story

Record number of Scots in work and economy growing

Statistics show UK Government long term economic plan is working says Carmichael.

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

Get Britain Working

Unemployment in Scotland increased by 7,000, to 158,000 in the period September to November 2014, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data released today. The Scottish unemployment rate is 5.7 per cent, which is just below the rate of 5.8 per cent for the whole of the UK.

The labour market statistics also show employment in Scotland rose slightly by 1,000 over the three months September to November. The number of those in employment in Scotland now stands at 2,612,000.

Meanwhile the latest Scottish GDP figures show the country’s economy grew by 0.6 per cent during the third quarter of 2014 and grew by 3.0 per cent over the year to the end of Q3, 2014

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Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said:

“Today’s employment figures show a record number of Scots in work, more women in employment than ever before and jobseekers allowance claimants at its lowest level since 2008.

“The UK Government has stuck to its long term economic plan, creating the right conditions to rebuild and rebalance our economy. Together with the safety and security which comes from being part of the UK this has helped our businesses grow and create more sustainable jobs. As a result, over the past four and half years employment has risen by 167,000 and unemployment has fallen by 61,000.

“It’s also welcome news to see Scotland’s economy continuing to grow, building on two successive years of economic growth. The rise in unemployment over the past quarter highlight the challenges which remain. Recent business surveys however show Scotland’s economic growth is set to continue into 2015 and our labour market is expected to build further on the record numbers we have seen. We will take responsibility to help those who fall out of work ensuring they can make the most of the opportunities being created in communities across the country.”

Headline Statistics for the September to November 2014 quarter:

  • Employment in Scotland increased by 1,000 over the quarter, and increased by 50,000 over the year, to stand at 2,612,000.

  • The Scots employment rate increased over the quarter to 74.1 per cent. The rate is above the UK average of 73.0 per cent.

  • Unemployment in Scotland increased by 7,000 over the quarter and fell by 20,000 over the year. The level now stands at 158,000.

  • At 5.7 per cent, the Scots unemployment rate is just below the rate of 5.8 per cent for the UK as a whole.

  • Economic Activity increased by 8,000 over the quarter and now stands at 2,770,000. Also, the Economic Activity rate increased over the quarter to stand at 78.7 per cent.

  • In December 2014, the number of people out of work and claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) was 85,000.

Latest Data for Scotland


The Labour Force Survey (LFS) indicates that the number of people in employment in Scotland from September to November 2014 was 2,612,000. Employment was up by 1,000 compared to the previous three months, and was up by 50,000 compared to the same quarter last year. The employment rate increased on the previous quarter, and it was up by 1.5 p.p. compared to the same quarter last year, at 74.1 per cent. In comparison, the Scottish employment rate is above the UK average.


Unemployment in Scotland was up 7,000 over the quarter September to November 2014, to 158,000. The level was down 20,000 compared to the same quarter last year. The unemployment rate was up 0.2 p.p. on the previous quarter at 5.7 per cent, which is down 0.8 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 2,100 from November to 85,000 in December 2014. The level is down by 28,200 on December 2013. The claimant count rate fell by 0.1 p.p. over the month at 3.1 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 September to November 2014 quarter was 2,770,000. This was up 8,000 on the previous quarter, and is up 29,000 on the same point a year ago. Among those aged 16-64 the economic activity rate was 78.7 per cent, up 0.3 p.p. on the previous quarter, and up 0.9 p.p. over the year.

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

Published 21 January 2015