Scotland’s unemployment rate dropped by 0.2% in the last quarter



Scotland’s unemployment rate dropped slightly in the last quarter, according to the latest figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The rate between March and May for people ages 16 and over was 4.4%, a 0.2% drop on the previous quarter. This figure was below the UK-wide rate of 4.8% for over-16s.

At the same time, the employment rate for those aged 16-64 in Scotland was 74%, a decrease of 0.4 percentage points.

There were 2.532 million people aged 16 to 64 in employment in Scotland between March and May, while 118,000 in that age range were unemployed.

Richard Lochhead, employment and fair work minister, said: “In March to May 2021, Scotland’s employment rate estimate decreased over the quarter by 0.4 percentage points to 74% and the unemployment rate estimate decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 4.4%.

“Separate HMRC early estimates, also published this morning, show the number of payrolled employees has increased over the month by 27,000 to 2.4 million in June 2021, however this is 24,000 below levels seen before the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

“These latest figures reflect some of the challenges facing our labour market. However, as the Job Retention Scheme continues to support jobs, they do not show the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Mr Lochhead added: “The Scottish government will continue to do all we can to support employees and employers, however it is crucial the UK government retain the furlough scheme for as long as it is needed.

“As we continue to move out of lockdown, we are pushing forward with an ambitious agenda of recovery and economic transformation that builds upon the £3.7bn in Scottish government support to business since the start of the pandemic.

“In 2021/22 we will invest more than £1bn to create jobs and ensure people have the skills needed to meet the economic opportunities of the future.”



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