Unemployment rate dropping but not back to pre-pandemic levels

Scotland's unemployment rate between July and September was 4.1%, down 0.2 percentage points on the previous quarter.

Unemployment rate dropping but not back to pre-pandemic levels iStock

Scotland’s unemployment rate between July and September was 4.1%, down 0.2 percentage points on the previous quarter.

It means unemployment is continuing to drop but is not yet back to levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The current rate remains 0.3 percentage points above the level for December 2019 to February 2020.

The employment rate also rose compared with the previous quarter by 0.6 percentage points to 74.8%, but remains 0.6 points lower than before the Covid-19 induced lockdown.

Employment minister Richard Lochhead said: “The Scottish Government continues to do all it can to support employees and employers and is investing more than £1bn in 2021/22 to create jobs and ensure people have the skills needed to help seize Scotland’s potential and deliver a greater, greener, fairer and sustainable economy.”

Separate figures released by HMRC showed an increase in the number of people employed last month compared with the first month of the lockdown.

Some 2.39 million employees were recorded in Scotland in October by the tax agency, a 0.1% rise compared with February 2020.

Benefit claimants remained substantially higher than before the pandemic, with the number of people claiming Universal Credit for the principal reason of unemployment being 44,000 higher last month than in March last year.

But this figure dropped by 2100 from the previous month.

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