Scotland Unemployment: Scots jobless rate hits 4.6% as nearly 700,000 UK jobs lost since March

The UK unemployment rate rose to 4.1 per cent while Scotland increased to 4.6 per cent.

Tuesday, 15th September 2020, 7:46 am
Updated Tuesday, 15th September 2020, 8:43 am
Around 695,000 UK workers have been removed from the payrolls of British companies since March when the coronavirus lockdown began, according to official figures. Picture: PA

Unemployment in Scotland rose between May and July amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to latest figures.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that the unemployment rate for people aged 16 and over increased to 4.6% (128,000) over that period, a 0.1% increase on the previous quarter.

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This was higher than the UK wide rate of 4.1%.

The proportion of people aged 16-64 in employment also rose to 74.3% (2.65 million), a 0.1% increase on the previous quarter.

‘Figures don’t reflect full impact’

Business Minister Jamie Hepburn said: "For the period May to July 2020, Scotland's employment rate estimate rose slightly over the quarter to 74.3% and

the unemployment rate estimate also rose slightly over the quarter to 4.6%.

"These figures only partially show how the lockdown measures needed to suppress coronavirus (Covid-19) have affected our economy and labour market - they still do not reflect the full impact on employment as the Job Retention Scheme will have offered some relief to many employers and employees.

"Our Programme for Government, published this month, has protecting and renewing Scotland's labour market at its heart through our new National Mission to create new, good, green jobs.

"This includes a National Transition Training Fund to support up to 10,000 people at risk of redundancy or unemployment and the Scottish Youth Guarantee, worth £60 million, will ensure every young person has the opportunity of work, education, or training.

"A new £100 million Green Jobs Fund will be created while a new Inward Investment Plan will create 100,000 high value jobs over the next decade and boost GDP.

"We continue to call on the UK Government to also play its part and extend the Job Retention Scheme, particularly for sectors such as travel, tourism and hospitality that face significant long-term challenges, likely to remain when the scheme ends next month."UK picture

Around 695,000 UK workers were removed from the payrolls of British companies since March when the coronavirus lockdown began, according to the ONS.

The number of young people in the UK without a job rose 156,000 in the three months to July, according to new data.

The Office for National Statistics said those aged between 16-24 saw the biggest drop in employment compared to other age groups.

ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan said: "Some effects of the pandemic on the labour market were beginning to unwind in July as parts of the economy reopened.

"Fewer workers were away on furlough and average hours rose.

"The number of job vacancies continued to recover into August, too.

"Nonetheless, with the number of employees on the payroll down again in August and both unemployment and redundancies sharply up in July, it is clear that coronavirus is still having a big impact on the world of work."

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