Employment slightly rises as unemployment rate remains steady

Scotland's unemployment rate remained at 4.5% over the summer, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Employment slightly rises as unemployment rate remains steady Getty Images

Employment in Scotland rose slightly between June and August, new official figures show.

Between those months, employment in Scotland increased 0.4% compared with March to May of this year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The unemployment rate remained the same, at 4.5%.

ONS data shows that the majority of Scottish workers were employed in services (83%), with 9.4% employed in production and 7.4% in other sectors.

However, government ministers warned that these figures do not reflect the full impact that Covid-19 has had on the employment sector, due to the Job Retention Scheme.

Jamie Hepburn, minister for business, fair work and skills, said: “For the period June to August 2020, Scotland’s employment rate estimate rose over the quarter to 73.9% and the unemployment rate estimate stayed the same over the quarter at 4.5%.

“HMRC early estimates for September 2020 for Scotland, published for the first time this morning, show that there were 2,329,000 payrolled employees, decreasing by 2.7% compared with September 2019.

“These figures still do not reflect the full impact of coronavirus on employment as the Job Retention Scheme will have offered relief to many employers and employees.

“I know this is a very worrying time for many people, particularly those working in sectors most affected by the pandemic.

“Last week the Scottish Government launched the £25m National Transition Training Fund to help up to 10,000 people aged 25 and over, who have lost their jobs or are at risk of redundancy as a result of the virus, to develop the skills required to move into sectors with the greatest potential for future growth and job opportunities.

“To give young people the chance to succeed, we will ensure everyone aged between 16 and 24 has the opportunity of work, education or training through Scotland’s Young Person’s Guarantee.

“We have also launched a £40m fund to help businesses affected by temporary restrictions to slow the spread of the virus, which will help to protect jobs over the coming fortnight.

“We are doing everything we can with the limited powers available to us to support people through this crisis – but it is essential that the UK Government also plays its part.

“We have repeatedly called on the UK Government to extend the furlough scheme, and stop avoidable job losses. It is clear that the new Job Support Scheme is far less generous than the furlough scheme and does not go far enough.”

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