Scotland business

Scotland's unemployment total rises again

Jobcentre Plus Image copyright PA

Unemployment in Scotland rose by 9,000 in the three months to February and now stands at 167,000, according to official statistics.

It was the second rise in a row, following an increase of 6,000 in the previous set of figures.

Data from the Office for National Statistics also showed UK unemployment falling by 76,000 to 1.84 million.

The unemployment rate in Scotland is now 6%, compared with 5.6% for the UK as a whole.

Employment was up by 3,000 to reach 2,615,000. The employment rate in Scotland now stands at 74.2%, above the UK average of 73.4%.

The number of people claiming Job Seeker's Allowance in Scotland fell by 1,400 between February and March to reach 78,400.

The claimant count figure is 26,600 lower than a year ago and is now at its lowest level since July 2008.

Between December and February, the number of those economically active - which includes both people in work and looking for work in Scotland's labour market - increased to a record high of 2,782,000.

'Mixed news'

Reacting to the figures, Scottish Chambers of Commerce chief executive Liz Cameron said: "Once again we have some mixed news in terms of unemployment in Scotland.

"Obviously, it is disappointing that unemployment has risen again and that Scotland's unemployment rate is higher than that of the UK as a whole.

"Against that, however, it is more encouraging that employment levels are rising and that there are more than 2.6 million people in work in Scotland.

"This underlines the need to ensure that Scotland's skills provision and careers advice is right in order to maximise employment opportunities and reduce levels of inactivity and under-employment."

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