Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary Grahame Smith says:
“The continued falls in unemployment are welcome but this single measure should not be used to obscure a wider debate on how our labour market is functioning. Yes unemployment is falling but inactivity is also rising and now sits at 22.9%, a full percentage point higher than it was at this time last year. Growth continues to be sluggish and low wages are putting pressure on living standards and encouraging too great a reliance on household debt. Employment figures also present a mixed picture, with much of the growth being in self-employment and part-time roles. Insecurity in the labour continues to grow, and too many workers are now dependant on zero hours contracts and other forms of insecure work.
“We need to see a greater focus from Government on improving the quality of work whilst stimulating the economy. We need an immediate end to the public sector pay cap and a significant increase in real wages across the economy. The Scottish Government must use its tax and borrowing powers to invest in our public services and economic infrastructure. We desperately need a genuine industrial strategy that recognises the role of unions, building on the fair work framework to drive workplace innovation and the creation of productive, resilient and successful industries”
For further information contact Helen Martin 0141 337 8100