News story

Unemployment down in Scotland

Scottish Secretary comments on January Labour Market Statistics for Scotland.

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

Alistair Carmichael

Unemployment in Scotland fell by 25,000, to 176,000 in the period September to November 2013, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data released today. The Scottish unemployment rate is 6.4 per cent, which is below the average of 7.1 per cent for the whole of the UK.

The labour market statistics also show employment in Scotland has increased by 10,000 over the three months September to November 2013. The number of those in employment in Scotland now stands at 2,559,000.

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said:

It is extremely encouraging to see unemployment in Scotland at its lowest level in nearly five years and employment increasing by 90,000 over the past year. The number of people in work in Scotland is close to the record highs seen before the recession and there has been a big fall in in the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance. Every new job created and every person getting back into work is to be welcomed.

Today’s figures reflect how well Scotland is doing as part of the UK. The IMF’s positive forecast yesterday shows that the UK’s economy is growing faster than any of the major economies across Europe, which means more jobs for more people. We are taking the difficult and responsible decisions with Scotland’s economy and it is clear that this Government’s long-term economic plan is working.

The rise in employment also shows that the confidence of businesses in Scotland is growing. It important that we continue with our efforts and ensure that the economic recovery benefits businesses, individuals and families up and down the country.

Headline Statistics for the September to November 2013 quarter:

  • Employment in Scotland increased by 10,000 over the quarter, and increased by 90,000 over the year, to stand at 2,559,000.

  • The Scots employment rate increased over the quarter to 72.7 per cent. The rate is above the UK average of 72.1 per cent.

  • Unemployment in Scotland fell by 25,000 over the quarter and fell by 31,000 over the year. The level now stands at 176,000.

  • At 6.4 per cent, the Scots unemployment rate is below the UK rate as a whole at 7.1 per cent.

  • Economic Activity fell by 14,000 over the quarter and now stands at 2,735,000. However, the Economic Activity rate fell over the quarter to stand at 77.9 per cent.

  • In December 2013, the number of people out of work and claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) was 113,800.

Latest Data for Scotland


The Labour Force Survey (LFS) indicates that the number of people in employment in Scotland from September to November 2013 was 2,559,000. Employment was up by 10,000 compared to the previous three months, and was up by 90,000 compared to the same quarter last year. The employment rate was down on the previous quarter by 0.1 p.p., and it was up by 2.0 p.p. compared to the same quarter last year, at 72.7 per cent. In comparison, the Scottish employment rate is above the UK average.


Unemployment in Scotland was down 25,000 over the quarter September to November 2013, to 176,000. The level was down 31,000 compared to the same quarter last year. The unemployment rate was down on the previous quarter at 6.4 per cent, which is down 1.3 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 1,900 from November to 113,800 in December 2013. The level is down by 24,100 on December 2012. The claimant count rate is down 0.1 p.p. over the month at 4.0 per cent, and is down 0.9 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 September to November 2013 quarter was 2,735,000. This was down 14,000 on the previous quarter, and is up 59,000 on the same point a year ago. Among those aged 16-64 the economic activity rate was 77.9 per cent, down 0.8 p.p. on the previous quarter, and up 1.2 p.p. over the year.

Published 22 January 2014