Employment rise in Scotland better than rest of the UK
For the twenty-second month in a row, employment rates in Scotland continue to trump the rest of the UK – but only just.
Regional Labour Market Statistics show that employment increased by 4000 between May and July this year.
The Scottish employment rate now stands at 71.4%, which only marginally beats the UK average of 71.2%. The UK, however, saw employment rates increase by 0.5% in contrast to Scotland, who only experienced a 0.1% rise.
However, the rising employment rate has also been offset by an increase in youth unemployment, which has risen by a staggering 2.8%.
Finance Secretary John Swinney took care to highlight the positive results of the ONS statistics. He pointed out that Scotland’s ‘female employment rate is the highest of any nation in the UK’. The claimant count in Scotland also fell by 600 in August, suggesting that less people need financial aid.
However, the government cannot ignore the rise in unemployment in favour of more reassuring statistics.
Swinney assured the public that the Scottish Government are ‘taking a range of measures to unlock Scotland’s economic potential’. ‘Our Opportunities for All programme guarantees every 16-19 year old in Scotland the offer of a place in education’
However, more students in higher education means more graduates.
Unemployment figures peaked after graduates left university in May. Though it is one of many factors, it is likely that the influx of young adults into the job market contributed to rising unemployment rates in the recent quarter.
The government may also need to introduce a platform to help young graduates after they leave higher education – not before.