News story

Scottish unemployment falls again

November Labour Market Statistics for Scotland show unemployment continues to fall.

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


Unemployment in Scotland fell by 10,000, to 164,000 in the period July to September 2014, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data released today. The Scottish unemployment rate is 5.9 per cent, which is just below the rate of 6.0 per cent for the whole of the UK.

The labour market statistics also show employment in Scotland has increased by 22,000 over the three months July to September. The number of those in employment in Scotland now stands at 2,605,000.

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Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said:

People across Scotland will be glad to see the run of positive news on the economy continue with today’s statistics showing a rise in employment.

The Government’s long term economic plan is working and that means more opportunities across the country. People voted to stay part of a UK providing more jobs and security and that is exactly what it is delivering for Scotland.

Recent business surveys show the growth momentum continued in the last quarter of the year but we recognise that Scotland is not immune from international challenges like the issues in the Eurozone. We cannot afford to let up in our efforts to create a more resilient economy.

I look forward working with the new First Minister and her team to build on this success. We share the same aim of creating a better Scotland and jobs will remain a key focus for both of Scotland’s governments.

Headline Statistics for the July to September 2014 quarter:

  • Employment in Scotland increased by 22,000 over the quarter, and increased by 50,000 over the year, to stand at 2,605,000.
  • The Scots employment rate increased over the quarter to 73.8 per cent. The rate is above the UK average of 73.0 per cent.
  • Unemployment in Scotland fell by 10,000 over the quarter and fell by 38,000 over the year. The level now stands at 164,000.
  • At 5.9 per cent, the Scots unemployment rate is just below the rate of 6.0 per cent for the UK as a whole.
  • Economic Activity increased by 12,000 over the quarter and now stands at 2,769,000. Also, the Economic Activity rate increased slightly over the quarter to stand at 78.6 per cent.
  • In October 2014, the number of people out of work and claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) was 89,900.

Latest Data for Scotland


The Labour Force Survey (LFS) indicates that the number of people in employment in Scotland from July to September 2014 was 2,605,000. Employment was up by 22,000 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 1.1 p.p. compared to the same quarter last year, at 73.8 per cent. In comparison, the Scottish employment rate is above the UK average.


Unemployment in Scotland was down 10,000 over the quarter July to September 2014, to 164,000. The level was down 38,000 compared to the same quarter last year. The unemployment rate was down 0.4 p.p. on the previous quarter at 5.9 per cent, which is down 1.4 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 1,200 from September to 89,900 in October 2014. The level is down by 28,800 on October 2013. The claimant count rate is unchanged over the month at 3.3 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 July to September 2014 quarter was 2,769,000. This was up 12,000 on the previous quarter, and is up 12,000 on the same point a year ago. Among those aged 16-64 the economic activity rate was 78.6 per cent, up slightly 0.1 p.p. on the previous quarter, and remained unchanged over the year.

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

Published 12 November 2014