The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

First Minister Alex Salmond welcomes strong employment growth in Scotland

Official statistics published today show continued strong employment growth in Scotland over the quarter April to June 2011, with Scottish employment increasing by 24,000 - equivalent to 96 per cent of the aggregate increase in UK employment of 25,000 over the same period.

In addition, the 23,000 fall in economic inactivity in Scotland is equivalent to 100 per cent of the fall in economic inactivity UK-wide.

Scotland’s unemployment level increased by 1,000, while the rate remained unchanged at 7.7 per cent in the three months to June - compared to a UK-wide increase of 38,000, and an increase of 0.1 per cent in the UK unemployment rate to 7.9 per cent.

Over the year unemployment in Scotland fell by 15,000 - compared to a UK-wide rise of 32,000.

Scotland has a lower unemployment rate, a higher employment rate and a lower rate of inactivity than the UK as a whole.

Scotland’s employment rate (for the population aged 16-64) increased by 0.6 percentage points to 71.9 per cent, while the UK rate remains unchanged at 70.7 per cent.

The figures also show that the economic inactivity rate in Scotland fell by 0.7 percentage points to 22.0 per cent over the three month period April to June. This compares to a UK rate of 23.2 per cent in the same period.

Scotland’s claimant count rate increased by 0.1 percentage point to 5.4 per cent in July - the same rate of increase as the UK as a whole.

Commenting on the labour market statistics, First Minister Alex Salmond called on the UK Government to take urgent measures to strengthen recovery, and published a three-point action plan setting out the priorities of increased capital investment, access to finance, and measures to boost economic security and consumer confidence.

First Minister Alex Salmond said: “In Scotland, the recession was both shorter and shallower compared to the UK as a whole, and the labour market figures show that 96 per cent of the UK-wide increase in aggregate employment - 24,000 of the 25,000 - has occurred in Scotland, while the 23,000 fall in economic inactivity in Scotland equates to the entire drop across the UK.

“Scotland has lower unemployment, higher employment and lower economic inactivity rates than the UK as a whole - which indicates that the measures the Scottish Government is taking to strengthen recovery and boost economic activity are working. But the rise in unemployment and the claimant count shows that more needs to be done in the key areas of capital investment, access to finance, and measures to boost economic security.

“While unemployment in Scotland fell by 15,000 over the year to June - against an increase of 32,000 across the UK - the latest figures show that there are absolutely no grounds for complacency.

“Uncertainty surrounding the global economic outlook means that we cannot rely on external factors to boost our economy, and we are setting out the action needed from the UK government to boost recovery.

“The priorities are increased capital investment to boost economic activity, access to finance to help small and medium sized businesses, and measures to boost consumer confidence and economic security.

“The action taken by the Scottish Government has had a positive impact. We accelerated capital investment at the height of the recession and over the year to March workforce construction jobs were up by 19,000, or 11.6 per cent, in Scotland - compared to a fall of 5,200, or 0.2 per cent, across the UK

“Our no compulsory redundancy policy for staff under our responsibility is helping to boost consumer confidence, and our commitment to the social wage - including the council tax freeze, no tuition fees, free prescriptions, and free concessionary travel - is giving Scots households maximum protection at a time when other bills and inflation are on a sharply rising curve.

“We now need the UK government to follow this lead and introduce an action plan to drive recovery.”

No comments: