Scotland’s employment rate hits record high

Scotland’s employment rate hits record high

The number of people in work in Scotland hit a record high of 75.2% in the three months to June.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate fell by 0.5% from the previous quarter to 3.9% meaning it now stands below the UK figure of 4.4%.

Economy Secretary Keith Brown said: "These latest figures show continued resilience in our labour market with 30,000 more people in work compared with this time last year and the unemployment rate falling by 1.2 percentage points over the year.

"The employment rate has risen to 75.2%, its highest on record, with more people in employment than ever before, while the unemployment rate of 3.9% is close to record lows.

"This is a further vote of confidence in our economy, coming after GDP figures showing Scotland's growth rate was four times faster that of the UK over the last quarter, and recent reports of accelerating growth across the private sector."

Liz Cameron, chief executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: "At a time of heightened political and economic uncertainty, the labour market figures are encouraging, showing the commitment and resilience of business to hire and invest in their workforce.”

Stuart McIntyre, from the Fraser of Allander economic research institute, said: “We note that almost all of the recent rise in employment is among the self-employed, which may have implications for tax revenues and the number of hours and type of work undertaken.

"The data to June 2017 also shows that Scotland's youth unemployment rate (for 16-24-year-olds) is at its lowest ever recorded rate.

"This sustained low rate of youth unemployment is welcome news.

"One slight caveat to this is that we have also seen a rise in the economic inactivity rate among this age group over the past year, so not all those leaving unemployment are doing so to begin work."