Record Number of Scots in Work

January 21, 2016

An unprecedented number of Scottish people were in employment towards the end of last year, according to the latest official figures on the subject.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports that between September and November 2015 there were 2,631,000 men and women in work across Scotland.

The figure represents an increase of 21,000 in the number of employed Scots as compared with the previous three months and an estimated 74.9 per cent of people throughout the country are now believed to be in work.

Scotland is currently able to boast the highest rate of employment of any of the four countries that make up the UK, with its overall employment rate having reached levels not seen since records began in 1992.

“I am very pleased to note this month’s figures, which reinforce the positive longer-term trends in Scotland’s labour market,” said Rosenna Cunningham, cabinet secretary for fair work, skills and training.

“Employment has continued to rise and unemployment to fall – with more Scots in work than ever before. Youth employment figures continue to be strong, out-performing the UK statistics.

“However, we are not complacent and we recognise that a number of significant challenges remain beneath these encouraging headline figures.”

Ms Cunningham went on to point out that the economies of Scotland and the UK as a whole are facing some notable “headwinds”.

She referred specifically to the low price of oil and the difficulties this has presented the energy sector, which has long been an important employer and a key driver of growth in the Scottish economy.

“Nevertheless, these figures indicate strong resilience within the Scottish economy and we will continue to channel every power at our disposal into promoting inclusive economic growth and fair work,” she said.

The ONS reports that there were fewer people out of work across the UK as a whole in the three months to the end of November last year than at any point over the past decade. However, the latest labour market statistics also show that wage growth has been slowing nationwide.

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John Baird

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