Official figures have revealed another fall in the number of unemployed people in Scotland, with the period from October to December seeing a 13,000 reduction. It is the third consecutive month that jobless figures have seen a fall.
However, the Office for National Statistics also revealed that there were 11,000 fewer people in work in the same period.
With a total of 2,461,000 people in work, the Scottish unemployment rate now stands at 7.7 per cent, 0.1 per cent below the national total of 7.8 per cent.
There was also a drop in the number of people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance from December to January; down 600 to 137,000. Compared to January 2012, the drop in JSA claimants was more than 5,000.
John Swinney, the Finance Secretary, welcomed the news but warned of complacency, saying:
“…too many people are still looking for work, and the Scottish government is taking action to address this by maintaining the most competitive business environment anywhere in the UK.”
The regional manager for totaljobs.com, Steve Clark, also said the figures were ultimately positive, citing recent investments in the engineering, gas and oil, and IT industries as key.
However, Clark went on to warn that continuing problems in the retail sector tempered the results.
Many firms in retail are heeding recent high street failures though. Many are seeking alternative finance options with the help of Glasgow and Edinburgh factoring companies, for example.
In all industries, the news that both unemployment and employment levels are falling will also be heeded. With a major factor being complete withdrawal from the workforce, investigations will likely be forthcoming.