News story

September Labour Market Statistics for Scotland

The Secretary of State says the drop in unemployment in the latest official figures shows the UK Government is making "the decisions that create jobs in the long-term"

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

Unemployment in Scotland fell by 3,000, to 204,000 in the period May to July 2011, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data released today. The Scottish unemployment rate is 7.5 per cent, below the UK average of 7.9 per cent. The labour market statistics also show employment in Scotland has increased by 23,000 over the three months to May - July 2011. The number of those in employment in Scotland now stands at 2,496,000.

The Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore said:

“This reduction in unemployment is welcome news, especially given the ongoing difficulties in the global economy. 

“Despite the difficult finances that this government has inherited, we are taking the decisions that create jobs and opportunities in the long-term.

“Our macroeconomic policy includes major measures to boost growth, with the creation of the most competitive business tax system in the developed world as we cut corporation tax progressively to the lowest rate in the G7.

“In addition, the UK Government has boosted tax relief for start-up companies and seen lending to businesses broadly on target through Project Merlin. The UK’s credit rating has also been restored to its highest possible level.

“Many others agree with our approach, including the managing director of the IMF who endorsed the UK Government’s plan on fiscal consolidation last week and said the UK Government’s policy stance remains appropriate. Our plan has brought stability and confidence to the economy and abandoning this plan could undermine the recovery and further job creation.

“But we also know that to cut unemployment needs more than a return to growth: we need to understand and tackle the root causes of youth and long-term unemployment too.  The Work Programme is designed to do just that.  In addition, I recently held the latest in a series of youth unemployment seminars in Hawick, leading up to a Get Britain Working campaign launch event in Glasgow in October.”

Headline Statistics for the May to July 2011 quarter:

* Employment in Scotland increased by 23,000 over the quarter, and increased by 36,000 over the year to stand at 2,496,000.
* The Scots employment rate rose over the quarter to 71.6 per cent. The rate is above the UK average of 70.5 per cent.
* Unemployment in Scotland fell by 3,000 over the quarter and fell by 33,000 over the year.  The level now stands at 204,000. 
* At 7.5 per cent, the Scots unemployment rate is just below the UK rate as a whole which stands at 7.9%. 
* Economic Activity increased by 20,000 over the quarter and now stands at 2,700,000. The Economic Activity rate increased by 0.6 per cent over the quarter, and stands at 77.5 per cent.
* In August 2011, the number of people out of work and claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) was 145,700.  This represents an increase of 1,200 over the month.

Latest Data for Scotland


The Labour Force Survey (LFS) indicates that the number of people in employment in Scotland from May to July 2011 was 2,496,000.  Employment was up by 23,000 compared to the previous three months, and up by 36,000 compared to the same period last year. The employment rate was up on the previous quarter by 0.7 per cent, and increased 0.9 per cent over the year, to 71.6 per cent. In comparison, the Scottish employment rate is above the UK average.


Unemployment in Scotland was down 3,000 over the quarter May to July 2011, to 204,000.  The level was down 33,000 compared to the same quarter last year. The unemployment rate was down by 0.2 p.p. on the previous quarter at 7.5 per cent, which is down 1.2 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), increased by 1,200 from July to 145,700 in August 2011.  The level is up by 9,700 on August 2010.  The claimant count rate remained unchanged over the month at 5.4 per cent, and up by 0.4 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 May to July 2011 quarter was 2,700,000.  This was up 20,000 on the previous quarter, and up 3,000 on the same point a year ago.  Among those aged 16-64 the economic activity rate was 77.5 per cent, up 0.6 p.p. on the previous quarter, and down 0.1 p.p. over the year.

Published 14 September 2011