The unemployment rate in Scotland is continuing to fall, with figures announced at the end of last year showing it is now below the UK average.
According to official figures from August to October 2013, the unemployment rate in the country is 7.1%. That is nearly half a percentage point below the national average, which sits at 7.4%.
Finance Secretary John Swinney said this was as a result of strong policies introduced by Holyrood, continuing to say:
“Scotland has a higher employment rate, lower unemployment rate and lower inactivity rate than England, Wales or Northern Ireland.”
In the period covered, Scottish unemployment fell to 196,000, a drop of 7,000.
Those in employment now number 2,546,000, accounting for an increase of 83,000 employees than at the same point in 2012.
Swinney went on to say that the data is yet another positive sign of the economic recovery in the country. Other figures and reports in past months have suggested the recovery is gaining momentum, helped in part by firms being able to access alternative finance.
Many Glasgow factoring brokers have helped unlock finances for example, allowing companies to take on more staff as demand grows.
The news was also welcomed by Alistair Carmichael, the secretary of State for Scotland, who said:
“[These] figures reinforce how well Scotland is doing as part of the UK and they are good news for people and families across the country.”
The figures also showed that more women are employed in Scotland than at any other time since records have been kept. There are now 1,233,000 women working in the country.