Scotland business

Scotland's unemployment total falls by 18,000

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Unemployment in Scotland fell by 18,000 between March and May to stand at 152,000, according to official figures.

The jobless rate is now 5.5%, compared with 4.9% for the whole of the UK.

Employment in Scotland increased by 17,000 over the three months to reach a total of 2,625,000. The employment rate is now 74%, slightly below the UK average of 74.4%.

Scotland's claimant count rose by 200 between May and June and now stands at 74,700.

The UK unemployment rate of 4.9% is the lowest since July 2005, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The jobless total fell to 1.65 million in the March-to-May period, down 54,000 from the previous quarter.

Scottish Minister for Business Paul Wheelhouse said: "While there is much to be welcomed from these figures, including 61,000 more people being employed now than at the pre-recession high point, we know that there is more that we can and must do.

"The Scottish economy has strong fundamentals, but as businesses face uncertainty during negotiations over our future relationship with the EU, we will not only work hard to protect Scotland's relationship with the EU, but will strive to make the most of current and future opportunities in our economy as set out in our economic strategy."

'No room for complacency'

The UK government's Scottish Secretary David Mundell, said: "It is positive news that employment in Scotland has risen and unemployment has fallen during the second quarter of 2016.

"That means more people in Scotland enjoying the security of a regular wage.

"But with Scotland's economy showing little growth over the past year, and the country's unemployment rate still higher than the UK overall, there is no room for complacency.

"The UK government's priority is working with the Scottish government and other partners as Team UK, to make sure that we get the best deal for Scotland and the whole of the UK in the forthcoming negotiations with the EU."

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