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Unemployment in Scotland remains at record low

The unemployment rate for those aged 16 and over between February and April this year was 3.2%

Unemployment in Scotland remained at a record low in the last quarter.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the unemployment rate for those aged 16 and over between February and April this year was 3.2%, the same rate as the previous quarter.

Across the UK the unemployment rate for that age group was 3.8%.

In Scotland the employment rate for those aged 16 to 64 between February and April increased slightly to 75.5%, which was one percentage point up on the previous quarter.

Employment Minister Richard Lochhead said: “With the unemployment rate falling over the quarter to a joint record low of 3.2%, and the employment rate increasing by a percentage point, the resilience of the Scottish economy is clear.

“While today’s figures show a strong recovery in Scotland’s labour market, we continue to face economic challenges with the rising cost of living, the continued impact of Brexit, and recovery from the effects of the pandemic and the economic consequences of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

“The Scottish Government is firmly focused on delivering the ambitious National Strategy for Economic Transformation, which will help us build an economy of secure, sustainable and satisfying jobs.

“A key part of this strategy is to provide people with the skills they need to gain new opportunities and ensure new and current businesses are supported in investing in innovative ideas that could lead to new industries and quality jobs across the country.”

Separate HM Revenue & Customs early estimates show 2.42 million payrolled employees in Scotland in May 2022, 37,000 more than in February 2020, before the pandemic.

Debapratim De, senior economist at Deloitte, commented: “Despite the contraction in economic activity over March and April, employment and job vacancies rose and the unemployment rate fell to a new multi-decade low.

“This is an exceptionally strong labour market, making it easier for people to change jobs and secure higher pay.

“With bonus payments helping incomes outpace soaring inflation, there will be greater pressure on the Bank of England to raise interest rates and ensure inflation doesn’t become the primary factor driving wage negotiations.”

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