This morning saw yet more positive news about the Scottish economy, with a number of Scots in work continuing to rise. The latest official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that employment in Scotland went up by 16,000 over the three months to September. By contrast, unemployment also rose but only by 1000, meaning that the Scottish jobless rate is 7.2%, a little below the UK average of 7.6%.
In the view of Scottish Secretary, Alistair Carmichael, “Today’s Figures Show Encouraging News for Scotland. the number of Scots claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance has fallen by 21,400 over the past year and is now at its lowest level over four and a half years. That should be welcomed. The small increase in unemployment over the last three months, and the recent events at Grangemouth in the shipyards on the Clyde, are stark reminders there can be no letup in our efforts to stabilise the economy and secure jobs for the future.”
The Scottish Finance Secretary, John Swinney, added that this was the 10th monthly report in a row to show “continued improvement in employment rates as we support more people into work. This consistent growth in employment shows that the policies of the Scottish government to create jobs and boost the economy by making progress.” He at knowledge to however that youth unemployment remained a challenge – although the number of young people in employment was continuing to rise.
The news was also welcomed by the Federation of Small Business in Scotland Whose Scottish Policy Convener, Andy Willox, described improvement as “certainly encouraging. With business confidence continuing to rise,” he added, “and more firms looking to invest, this is another sign that a sustained recovery could be underway. But is scratch that but it is by no means guaranteed. We must a focused on creating the conditions which allow small businesses to do what they do best – spot opportunities, serve their communities, create revenues and create jobs.”