News story

September Labour Market Statistics for Scotland

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics released today.

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

Unemployment in Scotland increased to 239,000, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data released today. The Scottish unemployment rate is 8.9 per cent, above the UK average unemployment rate of 7.8 per cent.

The labour market statistics also show employment in Scotland has increased by 25,000 over the previous three months. The number of those in employment in Scotland now stands at 2,455,000.

The Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore welcomed a rise in the number of Scots in employment but expressed his concern over the increase in the total number of unemployed.

Moore said:

“These figures show the heavy human price that Scotland is paying for the last government’s economic incompetence.  The coalition inherited rising unemployment and a record peacetime deficit, and our challenge is to turn those problems around.

“We are doing that with decisive action to restore our economy and, in turn, help Scotland’s men and women to find quality, lasting jobs.

“We are determined to achieve our priority of balanced and sustained economic growth for all parts of the UK, which will encourage the necessary investment to create new jobs.

“The only respite from the latest figures comes from an increase in the total number of people in work. This shows that the Government was right to reverse the planned jobs tax. The measures announced in our Budget will create the most competitive corporate tax system in the G20 over the next four years, and we have also increased the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme to improve access to finance for business.

“Others talk about the problems facing our country.  We are taking action to solve them.”

Headline Statistics for the May - July quarter

Employment in Scotland increased by 25,000 over the quarter, and fell by 40,000 over the year to stand at 2,455,000.
The Scots employment rate increased by 0.7 percentage points over the quarter to 70.5 per cent. The rate is below the UK average of 70.7 per cent.

Unemployment in Scotland rose by 25,000 over the quarter.  The level now stands at 239,000.

At 8.9 per cent, the Scots unemployment rate is higher than the UK figure of 7.8 per cent.

Economic Activity level increased by 50,000 over the quarter and now stands at  2,694,000. The Economic Activity rate rose over the quarter, and stands at 77.5 per cent.

In August 2010, the number of people out of work and claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) was 136,100.  This represents an increase of 700 over the month and is the second rise after five consecutive monthly falls.

Latest Data for Scotland


The Labour Force Survey (LFS) indicates that the number of people in employment in Scotland from May - July 2010 was 2,455,000.  Employment was up by 25,000 compared to the previous three months and down by 40,000 compared to the same period last year. The employment rate increased by 0.7 per cent over the quarter, and fell 1.3 per cent over the year, to 70.5 per cent. In comparison, the Scottish employment rate is below the UK average.


Unemployment in Scotland was up 25,000 over the quarter May - July 2010, to 239,000.  The level was up 49,000 compared to the same quarter last year. The unemployment rate was up 0.8 p.p. from the previous quarter to 8.9 per cent, which is up 1.8 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), increased by 700 from July, to 136,100 in August 2010.  The level is up by 3,900 on August 2009.  The claimant count rate is unchanged over the month at 4.9 per cent, up 0.1 p.p. over the year.

Economic Activity

The number of economically active (defined as those in employment or ILO unemployed, seasonally adjusted) in Scotland in the May - July 2010 quarter was 2,694000.  This was up 50,000 on the previous quarter, and a rise of 10,000 on the same point a year ago.  Among those aged 16-64, the economic activity rate was 77.5 per cent, up 1.4 p.p. on the previous quarter, and up 0.2 p.p. over the year.

Access the data from the ONS site

Select the link “Regional Monthly Data - September 2010” which will prompt you to unzip a folder of Excel files. Then select the file “LMSScot0910” to access the data.

Published 15 September 2010