News story

Positive economic news for Scotland

Unemployment down and economy is growing.


Unemployment in Scotland fell by 15,000, to 152,000 in the period March to May 2015, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data released today. The Scottish unemployment rate is 5.5 per cent, which is just below the rate of 5.6 per cent for the whole of the UK.

The labour market statistics also show employment in Scotland increased marginally by 1,000 over the three months March to May. The number of those in employment in Scotland now stands at 2,616,000.

Meanwhile the latest statistics show Scottish GDP grew by 0.6 per cent during the first quarter of 2015 and grew by 2.8 per cent on an annual basis.

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Scottish Secretary David Mundell said:

Today’s employment figures confirm the decisions we are taking is creating a better, more prosperous future for the whole of the country. The latest figures on economic activity, also released today, show Scotland’s economy is growing in line with the UK. With businesses creating jobs, living standards rising strongly and the UK’s economy growing faster than any other major advanced country, this shows our long-term economic plan is working.

Last week’s Budget rewards work, backs aspiration, ensures fairness to taxpayers and gives businesses confidence to invest, to grow and to hire in the months and years ahead. The National Living Wage is an essential part of our move to a higher wage, lower tax, lower welfare society. Rising to over £9 an hour by 2020, this will outstrip the First Minister’s own ambition to have a national minimum wage of £8.70 an hour by 2020.

This is a Government working to ensure every part of the country benefits from a growing economy whilst also ensuring future generations are not burdened by a debt run up by previous governments in this generation. We have a job to do and we’re here to get on with it.

Headline Statistics for the March to May 2015 quarter:

  • Employment in Scotland increased by 1,000 over the quarter, and increased by 40,000 over the year, to stand at 2,616,000.
  • The Scots employment rate increased over the quarter at 74.3 per cent. The rate is above the UK average of 73.3 per cent.
  • Unemployment in Scotland fell by 15,000 over the quarter and fell by 39,000 over the year. The level now stands at 152,000.
  • At 5.5 per cent, the Scots unemployment rate is below the rate of 5.6 per cent for the UK as a whole.
  • Economic Activity fell by 14,000 over the quarter and now stands at 2,769,000. Also, the Economic Activity rate decreased over the quarter to stand at 78.7 per cent.
  • In June 2015, the number of people out of work and claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) was 74,600.

Latest Data for Scotland


The Labour Force Survey (LFS) indicates that the number of people in employment in Scotland from March to May 2015 was 2,616,000. Employment was up marginally by 1,000 compared to the previous three months, and was up by 40,000 compared to the same quarter last year. The employment rate was up by 0.1 p.p. on the previous quarter, and it was up by 1.2 p.p. compared to the same quarter last year, at 74.3 per cent. In comparison, the Scottish employment rate is above the UK average.


Unemployment in Scotland was down by 15,000 over the quarter March to May 2015, to 152,000. The level was down 39,000 compared to the same quarter last year. The unemployment rate was down on the previous quarter at 5.5 per cent, which is down 1.4 p.p. over the year.

Jobseeker’s Allowance

The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), fell by 1,700 from May to 74,600 in June 2015. The level is down by 21,700 on June 2014. The claimant count rate remained unchanged over the month at 2.7 per cent, and is down 0.8 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 March to May 2015 quarter was 2,769,000. This was down 14,000 on the previous quarter, and is up 1,000 on the same point a year ago. Among those aged 16-64 the economic activity rate was 78.7 per cent, down 0.3 p.p. on the previous quarter, and up 0.1 p.p. over the year.

Published 15 July 2015