News story

Unemployment continues to fall in Scotland

Scottish Secretary welcomes latest Labour Market Statistics for Scotland as he visits Dundee to see a new business start-up.

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

Alistair Carmichael visits Frolick
Alistair Carmichael visits Frolick in Dundee, a firm which has benefited from the NEA.

Unemployment in Scotland fell by 2,000, to 176,000 in the period April to June 2014, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data released today.

The Scottish unemployment rate is 6.4 per cent, which is the same rate as for the whole of the UK. The August labour market statistics also show employment in Scotland has increased by 9,000 over the three months April to June. The number of those in employment in Scotland now stands at 2,594,000.

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said:

Today’s figures show we have a new record high in overall employment. Over the last 12 months Scottish employment has increased by 63,000 and unemployment has fallen by 21,000. This shows that working together as part of the UK with its larger market, stronger and growing economy and stable currency is creating more jobs and better opportunities for Scotland.

It is also good to see the number of people claiming Jobseekers allowance continues to fall. It is now at its lowest level since October 2008 and is 35,500 lower than one year ago.

Each one of the figures today represents another person or household getting back into the labour market. It also represents the certainty, stability and security we are creating for businesses by being part of the UK. We will continue with our long term economic plan to ensure that these positive figures are reflected in communities across the length and breadth of Scotland and our business have the confidence to grow and employ more Scots.

The Minister made the comments as he visited Frolick, a Dundee based family run company that specialises in healthy alternatives to frozen desserts. Over the past few months the company has greatly expanded its range.

They have benefited from the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA), an initiative which offers expert mentoring and financial support to people on Jobseeker’s Allowance, lone parents and people on sickness benefits who want to start up their own business. Since its launch in 2011, 3,300 businesses in Scotland have been established thanks to the NEA.

Mr Carmichael added:

It was great to visit this thriving family run business in Dundee. Across the country the New Enterprise Allowance is helping thousands of jobseeking Scots build a career and fulfil their ambitions. The great ideas of these entrepreneurs today may transform into successful Scottish companies which will be the major employers of tomorrow.

Headline Statistics for the April to June 2014 quarter:

  • Employment in Scotland increased by 9,000 over the quarter, and increased by 63,000 over the year, to stand at 2,594,000
  • The Scots employment rate remained unchanged over the quarter to 73.5 per cent. The rate is above the UK average of 73.0 per cent
  • Unemployment in Scotland fell by 2,000 over the quarter and fell by 21,000 over the year. The level now stands at 176,000
  • At 6.4 per cent, the Scots unemployment rate is the same rate as for the UK as a whole
  • Economic Activity increased by 7,000 over the quarter and now stands at 2,770,000. However, the Economic Activity rate fell marginally over the quarter to stand at 78.6 per cent
  • In July 2014, the number of people out of work and claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) was 92,900

Latest Data for Scotland


The Labour Force Survey (LFS) indicates that the number of people in employment in Scotland from April to June 2014 was 2,594,000. Employment was up by 9,000 compared to the previous three months, and was up by 63,000 compared to the same quarter last year. The employment rate was unchanged on the previous quarter, and it was up by 1.4 p.p. compared to the same quarter last year, at 73.5 per cent. In comparison, the Scottish employment rate is above the UK average.


Unemployment in Scotland was down 2,000 over the quarter April to June 2014, to 176,000. The level was down 21,000 compared to the same quarter last year. The unemployment rate was down 0.1 p.p. on the previous quarter at 6.4 per cent, which is down 0.9 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 3,100 from June to 92,900 in July 2014. The level is down by 35,500 on July 2013. The claimant count rate is down 0.1 p.p. over the month at 3.4 per cent, and is down 1.3 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 April to June 2014 quarter was 2,770,000. This was up 7,000 on the previous quarter, and is up 42,000 on the same point a year ago. Among those aged 16-64 the economic activity rate was 78.6 per cent, down marginally 0.1 p.p. on the previous quarter, and up 0.6 p.p. over the year.

Published 13 August 2014