Record high for Scotland’s employment rate, figures show

Figures show employment for people aged between 16 to 64 is at a record high.

Record high for Scotland’s employment rate, figures show Getty Images

Scotland’s employment rate has reached a new high despite the latest figures showing a small rise in the number of people who are out of work.

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed 76.1% of people aged 16 to 64 were in work from September to November 2022.

That compares to 75.9% recorded over the three months from August to October, which had been the joint highest since the labour force survey series began in 1992.

Scotland’s employment rate was above the 75.6% recorded for the UK as a whole, with the country also having the highest rate of the four nations.

According to ONS data, 2,725,000 Scots aged 16 and over were in work in the period September to November, with this total 8,000 higher than the previous quarter and up by 48,000 over the year.

There were 92,000 Scots who were unemployed over September to November – a rise of 1,000 from the previous three months but 8,000 fewer than was recorded a year ago.

Employment minister Richard Lochhead said: “The employment rate in Scotland remains high despite the turbulent economic circumstances, including the continued impact of Brexit, high inflation and the cost-of-living crisis.”

Mr Lochhead added: “The record high employment rate for all 16 to 64 year olds and the continued high employment rates for women are particularly welcome.

“The Scottish Government’s ambitious plans for Scotland’s economy set out in our National Strategy for Economic Transformation are built on ensuring everyone can thrive in a diverse and inclusive workforce.”

He said that the updated fair work action plan, published by the Scottish Government in December, “brings together a number of strategies which demonstrate the government’s commitment to fair work outcomes for everyone”.

But he added that “despite the high employment rate, labour shortages in certain sectors still remain”.

He said the Scottish Government “is doing all it can to work with businesses and organisations to alleviate them”.

However, Mr Lochhead added: “The UK Government holds key powers over migration, visas and key parts of employment law and I repeat my calls for UK ministers to establish a joint taskforce on labour market shortages.”

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