Scottish unemployment rate predicted to rise
Jobless rate expected to rise above UK level
THE Scottish rate of unemployment is expected to outstrip that of the UK and hit its highest level since 1993, according to a report issued today.
The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) estimates the labour market will be weaker than before the financial crisis as public sector jobs are cut.
In a report, the CEBR adds: “The unemployment rate in the country is forecast to rise to above that of the UK average in 2012 and remain there until at least 2016, reaching 9.7% that year. The last time that the rate surpassed this was in 1993.”
The CEBR found that unemployment is likely to continue to rise over the next five years in every part of the UK except the south-east and east of England, as well as London.
The report is described as an “upward revision” to unemployment rates estimated in October last year, blamed on a “generally weaker” economic outlook.
Rob Harbron, one of the report’s authors and an economist at CEBR, said: “Five more years of pain are expected for much of the UK, with unemployment continuing to rise in almost every region.”
Finance Secretary John Swinney insisted the new report is pessimistic – but said more has to be done.
Mr Swinney said: “Scotland needs the full economic and financial powers of independence so that we can do even more to boost the economy and jobs.
“If this paper tells us anything it underlines the importance of achieving a yes vote in the autumn 2014 independence referendum so that we have all the job-creating powers at the disposal of the Scottish Parliament and Government.”