Scotland’s employment rate has reached a new record high, after latest figures showed a rise in the number of people in work.
Over October to December last year, 2,742,000 people aged 16 to 64 were in work – 37,000 more than the previous quarter and 89,000 higher than it was in the same period in 2021.
That means the employment rate for the last three months of 2022 rose to 76.6% – up from the 76.1% recorded for September to November 2022.
Previous figures had been the highest-ever recorded since the labour force survey series began in 1992.
Scotland’s employment rate was the highest of the four UK nations, and was above the 75.6% recorded for the UK as a whole, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
According to the numbers, 93,000 Scots were unemployed over between October and December last year – with this total 5,000 lower than the previous quarter and 19,000 less than it had been at the same point in 2021.
The unemployment rate in Scotland was also lower than the 3.7% recorded for the UK as a whole, at 3.3%.
Employment minister Richard Lochhead said the record proportion of Scots in work – together with high employment rates for women – were “particularly welcome”.
But he warned there were still some industries that face “recruitment challenges”, calling from action from the UK Government to help tackle these.
Mr 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.
“The record high employment rate for all 16 to 64 year olds and the joint record 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.
“Our refreshed Fair Work Action Plan published in December 2022 also brings together a number of strategies which demonstrate the government’s commitment to fair work outcomes for everyone.”
The minister however also stated that “despite the high employment rate, certain sectors still face recruitment challenges”.
He continued: “The Scottish Government is doing all it can to work with businesses and organisations to alleviate them.
“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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