Scottish employment sees annual increase of 46,000

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The number of Scots in employment has increased by 46,000 over the year, according to figures published today by the ONS.

The Labour Market Statistics cover the twelve months from December 2014 to February 2015 and show that unemployment fell by 14,000 over the past year, and is now 70,000 below its recession peak in 2010.

The number of economically active people in Scotland – including both people in work and those looking for work in the country’s labour market – has increased to a record high of 2,782,000.

It also shows that the female market participation level and rate are both at record highs, and the level and rate of youth unemployment is now at its lowest since 2009.

Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills & Training Roseanna Cunningham said: “Today’s figures show Scotland’s labour market participation has now reached an all-time high with 2,782,000 people economically active. Increasing participation has positive impacts for the Scottish economy, and the Scottish Government remains focused on delivering better employment prospects for all.

“I am pleased that female employment level has increased significantly in the past year. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure women have the same opportunities in the labour market as their male counterparts, and have access to quality sustained work in careers they choose.

“Youth unemployment figures continue to improve. Our ambition however, is to reach and move beyond pre-recession levels through the implementation of our long-term youth employment strategy.

“Whilst Scotland continues to have a higher employment rate than the UK as a whole, today’s figures show a slight increase in unemployment on the previous quarter. This can be explained, in part, by falling levels of economic inactivity, which is now at an all-time low, as more people join the labour market and start looking for work.

“The figures come on the back of the strong GDP figures published earlier this week that showed Scotland’s economy continues to show strength, growing 0.6% in the final quarter of 2014, with growth of 2.7% across 2014 as a whole – the fastest since 2006.”

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