Scotland business

Scottish jobless total continues to fall

Pedestrians in Princess Street, Edinburgh Image copyright Getty Images

Scottish unemployment continued to fall in the three months to March, according to official figures.

The jobless total fell by 7,000 from the previous quarter to reach 89,000. The unemployment rate is now at 3.2%, compared with the UK figure of 3.8%.

Employment among Scots of working age fell by 3,000 to just under 2.6 million - an employment rate of 75.4%.

UK employment jumped by 99,000 to 32.7 million - the third highest total since records began in 1971.

According to the Office for National Statistics, unemployment in the UK as a whole fell by 65,000 during the latest quarter to 1.3 million, continuing a general trend which started in early 2012.

The UK's unemployment rate is now lower than at any time since late 1974.

For men the rate was 3.9% - it has not been lower since March to May 1975 - and for women it was 3.7%, the lowest since comparable records began in 1971.

Excluding bonuses, average weekly earnings for employees rose by 3.3%.

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Responding to the figures, Scotland's Business Minister Jamie Hepburn said the Scottish economy and jobs market continued to strengthen.

He said: "Labour market figures for women and young people in Scotland once again outperformed the UK.

"Scotland's employment rate for women rose to 72%, higher than the UK rate of 71.8%.

"The employment rate for young people in Scotland rose to 59.3%, higher than the UK rate of 54.6%.

"Scotland's unemployment rate for young people - 6.6% - is a record low and lower than the UK."

The UK government's Scottish Secretary David Mundell said it was "good news" that unemployment in Scotland was at a record low.‎

He added: "The UK government is investing in Scotland's economy and creating jobs.

"Our £1.35bn city and growth deals programme is starting to reap rewards and will give Scotland a long-lasting economic boost."

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