News story

Scottish Labour Market Statistics September 2015

Unemployment in Scotland remains unchanged at 164,000 in the period May to July 2015, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS).


The Scottish unemployment rate is 5.9 per cent, which is above the rate of 5.5% as for the whole of the UK.

The labour market statistics also show employment in Scotland decreased by 12,000 over the three months May to July. The number of those in employment in Scotland now stands at 2,612,000.

The Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell said:

The government’s long term plan has laid the foundations for a stronger economy. It is almost exactly a year since Scotland made the historic decision to remain part of the UK. In those 12 months we have seen further improvements in the Scottish Labour market with employment increasing and unemployment falling.

The UK Government is committed to a lower tax and higher wage economy for those in work and since 2010 we have 175,000 more people working in Scotland. Being part of the larger UK economy provides more opportunities and more security for people in Scotland. Scotland made the right decision last September.

Headline Statistics for the May to July 2015 quarter:

· Employment in Scotland fell by 12,000 over the quarter, and increased by 4,000 over the year, to stand at 2,612,000.

· The Scots employment rate decreased over the quarter at 74.0 per cent. The rate is above the UK average of 73.5 per cent.

· Unemployment in Scotland remained unchanged and fell by 4,000 over the year. The level now stands at 164,000.

· At 5.9 per cent, the Scots unemployment rate is above the UK’s rate of 5.5 per cent.

· Economic Activity fell by 12,000 over the quarter and now stands at 2,776,000. Also, the Economic Activity rate decreased over the quarter to stand at 78.7 per cent.

· In August 2015, the number of people out of work and claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) was 69,800.

Latest Data for Scotland


The Labour Force Survey (LFS) indicates that the number of people in employment in Scotland from May to July 2015 was 2,612,000. Employment was down by 12,000 compared to the previous three months, and was up by 4,000 compared to the same quarter last year. The employment rate was down by 0.4 p.p. on the previous quarter, and it was up by 0.2 p.p. compared to the same quarter last year, at 74.0 per cent. In comparison, the Scottish employment rate is above the UK average.


Unemployment in Scotland was unchanged over the quarter May to July 2015 at 164,000. The level was down 4,000 compared to the same quarter last year. The unemployment rate was unchanged on the previous quarter at 5.9 per cent, which is down 0.1 p.p. over the year.

Jobseeker’s Allowance

The number of people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA), fell by 2,300 from July to 69,800 in August 2015. The level is down by 20,700 on August 2014. The claimant count rate (JSA and Universal Credit) is unchanged over the month at 2.6 per cent, and is down 0.5 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 May to July 2015 quarter was 2,776,000. This was down 12,000 on the previous quarter, and unchanged on the same point a year ago. Among those aged 16-64 the economic activity rate was 78.7 per cent, down 0.4 p.p. on the previous quarter, and up 0.1 p.p. over the year.

Published 16 September 2015