Scots unemployment rate down slightly to 4.2%

As reported by BBC News on the 14th August 2018, link: HERE.

Scotland’s unemployment rate dropped slightly to 4.2% in the three months between April and June.

The Office for National Statistics said 115,000 people were looking for work, down from 118,000 in the prior months.

Meanwhile, the number of Scots aged 16 to 64 who are in employment rose by 17,000, to a working-age rate of 75.2%.

The unemployment rate for the UK as a whole fell to 4%, the lowest for more than 40 years, while the employment rate hit 75.6%.

Compared with the same three months of 2017 – when Scottish employment was at a record high – the number seeking work was up by 7,000, and the number of those aged 16 to 64 in employment was down by 3,000.

The economic inactivity rate among those below retirement age – Scots aged under 65 who are not seeking work, often because they are studying or caring for family – fell by 17,000 people, to 21.5%.

The UK as a whole saw its economic inactivity rate increase slightly, to 21.2%, over the same three months.

‘Historically low’

Dr Stuart McIntyre, of the Fraser of Allander Institute, an economic think-tank based at Strathclyde University, said Scotland and the UK were experiencing “historically low levels of unemployment and high levels of employment”.

The ONS said the UK-wide unemployment rate of 4% had not been lower since February 1975, while the number of people aged 16 to 24 looking for work was the lowest since records began in 1992.

Mr McIntyre highlighted that Scotland “outperforms the UK by some margin” on the youth unemployment front, with a current rate of 9.3% north of the border compared with 11.3% for the UK as a whole.

Scottish business minister Jamie Hepburn said the figures were “welcome”, adding: “Scotland’s economy and jobs market remains strong despite the continued challenges facing our economy as a result of Brexit uncertainty.”

However, Scottish Secretary David Mundell said he was “concerned that these numbers show a worsening unemployment picture of the year”, adding: “With Scotland’s economy continuing to lag behind the rest of the UK, it is important that the Scottish government take the necessary steps to create the right conditions to grow our economy.”

The ONS also said the three months to the end of June saw the largest fall in EU nationals working in the UK since records began in 1997, with a drop of 86,000 to 2.28m.