Commenting on the latest set of official labour market data published today, Grahame Smith, Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary said:
“There is much to welcome in today’s figures including another decent rise in employment and the fall in unemployment. The labour market recovery does appear to be strengthening.
“However, it is important that the extent of the challenge that remains is understood. Although these figures may have confirmed a ‘record Scottish employment level’ it must be stressed that the employment rate is still 1.4% below the 74.9% achieved in summer 2007. The unemployment rate remains 2.4% above its pre-recession trough and the fall confirmed today only takes the rate back to where it was last autumn.
“No new statistics were published today for Scottish full-time, part-time or self-employment. Trends in underemployment do appear to be levelling off but, again, there is some distance to travel before pre-recession rates are achieved. Progress on youth employment is much too slow.
“It is noteworthy that women’s employment actually declined over the last quarter. Whilst some care must be taken in interpreting volatile quarterly figures it would be a concern if the strong trend in women’s employment growth over the last year was to reverse”.
Stephen Boyd 0141 337 8100