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Unemployment in Scotland dropped by around 1,000 to 123,000 between September and November, during a period when Covid-19 restrictions were eased.

The Office for National Statistics reported a 4.4% unemployment rate in Scotland, 0.1% lower than the previous quarter.

The number of Scots in work also increased by 26,000.

The employment rate for ages 16 to 64 was 74.4%, up 0.5% on the previous three months.

Across the UK, unemployment rose to 5% from 4.9% in the three months to November. Around 1.72 million were jobless – the highest unemployment level in five years – as the pandemic continued to hit the jobs market.

Scottish Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills Jamie Hepburn noted that HM Revenue and Customs early estimates for December, also published this morning, show that there were 2.3 million pay-rolled employees in Scotland, increasing by 9,000 compared with November – although down 67,000 on a year ago.

“These figures still do not reflect the full impact of coronavirus or outlook for employment, as the Job Retention Scheme continues to play an important role in supporting employers and employees.

“Combined with the huge economic uncertainty caused by Brexit, this remains an extremely uncertain time for the economy and jobs.”

Andrew McRae, Scotland policy chair at the Federation of Small Business, said the figures show that government interventions to keep people in jobs have mostly worked so far.

“They tell us little about the precarious condition of the economy or the Scottish business community.

“This week’s Scottish Government budget is a litmus test for Ministers’ pledge to rebuild the economy – if thousands of small firms fail in the months before widespread vaccine roll-out, it’ll be a tragedy not only for the business-owners but also for local labour markets.”



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Post Author: EDONS