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Scotland's unemployment level between April and June has dropped to 4.2%

The Office for National Statistics said 115,000 people were looking for work between April and June, down 3,000 on the previous quarter.

Meanwhile, the number of Scots aged 16 to 64 in employment rose by 17,000.

Andrew McRae, the Federation of Small Businesses Scotland Policy Chair, said:

“Falling unemployment is good news for communities up and down Scotland. Despite a tricky political backdrop, many smaller Scottish firms are taking on staff and growing their businesses.

“If we want to turn these historically good unemployment figures into sustained growth, we need to boost the country’s skills. As the SNP Government looks toward priorities for the year ahead, we’ve made the case for new measures to encourage more people to improve their skills – especially those in work.

“That might mean the development of more vocational skills academies or action to encourage the biggest businesses to support the development of their supply chain. Likely forthcoming immigration changes and rapidly advancing technology underlines the case for a smarter Scottish skills system for those already employed.”

Dr Stuart McIntyre, of the University of Strathclyde's Fraser of Allander Institute said Scotland and the UK were experiencing "historically low levels of unemployment and high levels of employment".

Mr McIntyre highlighted that Scotland "outperforms the UK by some margin" on the youth unemployment front, with a current rate of 9.3% north of the border compared with 11.3% for the UK as a whole.

Patricia Gibson MP said the figures were "welcome", adding:

“Scotland's economy and jobs market remains strong despite the continued challenges facing our economy as a result of Brexit uncertainty.

“However, improving skills in the face of rapid technological change and the need to ensure that employment growth is shared more equally across Scotland remain vitally important.”


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