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Increase in employment levels

Published: 20 Jul 2016 09:30

GDP figures show 2.1 per cent growth in economy in 2015.

Employment in Scotland rose by 17,000 over the last quarter, illustrating the underlying resilience of the economy, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures published today.

Labour Market Statistics for March to May 2016 shows a strengthening position for employment and unemployment. They also show that:

  • Scotland continues to outperform the rest of the UK on female employment, unemployment and inactivity rates.
  • The unemployment level has fallen by 18,000.
  • Scotland continues to outperform the rest of the UK on youth employment, unemployment and inactivity rates.
  • Scotland has the second highest employment rate of the four UK nations, with 61,000 more people in employment compared to the pre-recession high.

In addition, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures published today show that the Scottish economy is now estimated to have grown by 2.1 per cent in 2015 as a whole, despite a challenging external environment. The level of output in the economy remained the same in the first quarter of 2016 as the last quarter of 2015.

The Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse commented on the latest statistics while visiting Scotmas in Kelso, an international manufacturing company that specialises in developing innovative products for water treatment, hygiene and environmental care. Mr Wheelhouse said:

"Today's figures show that employment in Scotland increased by 17,000 over the quarter to March and May this year and that unemployment fell by 18,000 over the same period, falling faster than across the UK.

"While there is much to be welcomed from these figures, including 61,000 more people being employed now than at the pre-recession high point, we know that there is more that we can and must do. The Scottish economy has strong fundamentals, but as businesses face uncertainty during negotiations over our future relationship with the EU, we will not only work hard to protect Scotland's relationship with the EU, but will strive to make the most of current and future opportunities in our economy as set out in our economic strategy.

"The figures we see published today once again demonstrate Scotland is outperforming the rest of the UK in terms of youth employment, and youth unemployment and inactivity and youth unemployment has fallen close to pre-recession levels. We are determined to do even more and our ambition is to reduce youth unemployment by 40 per cent between 2014 and 2021 through the implementation of our youth employment strategy.

"I am also very pleased that the female employment rate has risen over the quarter. This is a testament to the work we have been doing to ensure women have an equality of opportunities in the labour market when compared with their male counterparts.

"Scotland is home to a thriving and innovative business sector and I'm delighted to visit Scotmas today, which is a fantastic example of some of the great work that is happening throughout the country, with Scottish companies employing young people, innovating in their products and processes, and competing effectively in export markets across the World. We are committed to improve our economic growth, productivity and social inclusion and we will achieve this by investing in our people and infrastructure, fostering a culture of innovation, boosting inclusive growth and promoting Scotland on the international stage."