Scotland business

Scotland's jobless total rises by 7,000

Jobcentre Image copyright PA
Image caption The Scottish unemployment rate is now 5.7%, which is lower than the overall UK rate of 5.8%

Scotland's jobless total rose by 7,000 between September and November to stand at 158,000, according to official figures.

The Scottish unemployment rate is now 5.7%, marginally lower than the overall UK rate of 5.8%.

The labour market statistics also show employment in Scotland rose slightly by 1,000 over the same period.

Meanwhile, Scotland's economy grew by 0.6% during the third quarter of 2014, and by 3% over the year.

The Scottish jobless total is 20,000 less than it was in the same three months of 2013.

Across the UK, the jobless total fell by 58,000 to 1.91m.

The figures showed 85,000 Scots were out of work and claiming job seeker's allowance in December, a drop of 2,100 on the previous month and 28,2000 lower than December 2013.

The Scottish government welcomed the record level of Scottish employment and hailed it as the fastest annual growth since 2007.

Roseanna Cunningham, Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training, said: "Scotland is again outperforming the UK on employment, unemployment and inactivity rates and a 3% expansion in our economy over the year is a clear demonstration of our growing strength, not least in the construction sector."

Gender gap

She added: "Our work on jobs and growth is continuing to pay off with record employment levels increasing this month and female employment also reaching a record high, welcome evidence of our ongoing work on narrowing the gender gap.

"As the economy grows, we must ensure that everyone is able to benefit from our success. We will continue to use all of the powers we have at our disposal to grow the economy, increase employment, lower unemployment and remove barriers to the labour market."

The UK government said economic growth was creating jobs and opportunities in Scotland.

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said: "Today's employment figures show a record number of Scots in work, more women in employment than ever before and jobseeker's allowance claimants at its lowest level since 2008.

"The UK government has stuck to its long-term economic plan, creating the right conditions to rebuild and rebalance our economy.

"Together with the safety and security which comes from being part of the UK this has helped our businesses grow and create more sustainable jobs.

"As a result, over the past four and a half years, employment rose by 167,000 and unemployment has fallen by 61,000."

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