News story

Unemployment falls again in Scotland

Latest statistics show unemployment is down and Scottish GDP continues to grow.

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


Unemployment in Scotland fell by 40,000, to 151,000, in the period June to August 2014, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data released today. The Scottish unemployment rate is 5.5 per cent, which is below the rate of 6.0 per cent for the whole of the UK.

The labour market statistics also show employment in Scotland has increased by 35,000 over the three months June to August. The number of those in employment in Scotland now stands at 2,611,000.

Figures released today also show that Scottish GDP grew by 0.9 per cent during the second quarter of 2014 and grew by 2.6 per cent on an annual basis.

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said:

Today’s figures on jobs and the economy show Scotland is moving in the right direction. The biggest quarterly fall in Scottish unemployment since records began and confirmation that Scotland’s economy has now grown for two consecutive years is very welcome news. This year we have seen new record high levels of employment and today marks another record high, with more Scottish women in employment than ever before.

Challenges remain as the rise in the number of Scots claiming jobseekers allowance shows. This however comes off eighteen consecutive months where the number has fallen and there are 30,500 less Scots claiming jobseekers allowance than one year ago.

We create more jobs and opportunities in Scotland when we work with all other parts of this United Kingdom. That is part of the reason that people in Scotland voted decisively last month to remain part of the UK. A shared currency and no barriers to trade with our biggest market are vital ingredients for job creation in Scotland. These latest figures are very good news. I want the UK and Scottish Governments to combine our efforts more than ever to build on this and build a better future for everyone in Scotland.

Headline Statistics for the June to August 2014 quarter:

  • Employment in Scotland increased by 35,000 over the quarter, and increased by 52,000 over the year, to stand at 2,611,000.

  • The Scots employment rate increased over the quarter to 73.9 per cent. The rate is above the UK average of 73.0 per cent.

  • Unemployment in Scotland fell by 40,000 over the quarter and fell by 54,000 over the year. The level now stands at 151,000.

  • At 5.5 per cent, the Scots unemployment rate is below the rate of 6.0 per cent for the UK as a whole.

  • Economic Activity fell by 5,000 over the quarter and now stands at 2,762,000. Also, the Economic Activity rate fell slightly over the quarter to stand at 78.3 per cent.

  • In September 2014, the number of people out of work and claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) was 91,100.

Latest Data for Scotland


The Labour Force Survey (LFS) indicates that the number of people in employment in Scotland from June to August 2014 was 2,611,000. Employment was up by 35,000 compared to the previous three months, and was up by 52,000 compared to the same quarter last year. The employment rate increased on the previous quarter, and it was up by 0.9 p.p. compared to the same quarter last year, at 73.9 per cent. In comparison, the Scottish employment rate is above the UK average.


Unemployment in Scotland was down 40,000 over the quarter June to August 2014, to 151,000. The level was down 54,000 compared to the same quarter last year. The unemployment rate was down 1.4 p.p. on the previous quarter at 5.5 per cent, which is down 1.9 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), increased slightly by 300 from August to 91,100 in September 2014. The level is down by 30,500 on September 2013. The claimant count rate is unchanged over the month at 3.3 per cent, and is down 1.1 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 June to August 2014 quarter was 2,762,000. This was down 5,000 on the previous quarter, and is down 2,000 on the same point a year ago. Among those aged 16-64 the economic activity rate was 78.3 per cent, down slightly 0.3 p.p. on the previous quarter, and over the year.

Published 15 October 2014