Unemployment in Scotland rises to 234,000
Figure 18,000 higher than a year ago
UNEMPLOYMENT in Scotland has risen again, with the jobless total now standing at 234,000.
The unemployment total – which includes those who are out of work and not eligible for benefits – rose by 6,000 over the period from November last year to January, and is 18,000 higher than a year ago.
The unemployment total also includes 103,000 people aged between 16 and 24.
Meanwhile, the number of Scots claiming jobseeker’s allowance rose to 142,800 in February, up 600 on the previous month and 5,400 higher than a year ago.
The unemployment rate is still higher than that for the UK as a whole, with a rate of 8.7% north of the border compared to 8.4%. The employment rate also fell to 70.8% – though this is still higher than the UK average of 70.3%.
However, Scottish Secretary Michael Moore said the latest jobless statistics reflected the “challenging economic climate”. He added: “They are a strong reminder that getting people into work is our first priority, especially as the Scottish unemployment rate remains above the rest of the UK.”
Meanwhile, Scotland’s Finance Secretary John Swinney said the figures made it clear Westminster needed to take “sustained action in next week’s Budget to support economic recovery”.