Commenting on today’s labour market statistics, Grahame Smith, General Secretary of the STUC said:
“Whilst there is a slight increase in employment, the rise in unemployment is a concern - from 3.9% a year ago to 4.4% now. With the latest increase continuing the trend of rising unemployment, this means 16,000 more people are unemployed in Scotland now than there were last year.
“Given the uncertainty created by the UK Government’s cack-handed approach to Brexit, it is perhaps not surprising that there has been a sharp decrease in workforce jobs in agriculture, forestry and fisheries. The decline in jobs in the wholesale and retail trades, as well as in construction, and in the employment rate for those in the 25-34 age bracket over the course of the year are also particularly alarming.
“Of course, it’s not just the employment rate that’s important. Real concerns persist about the quality of jobs. With real wages well below what they were ten years ago, living costs rising, and the number of temporary workers increasing, the day to day challenges facing working people need to be addressed.
“We need a greater focus from Government on improving the quality of work to stimulate the economy and the Scottish Government must use its tax and borrowing powers to invest in our public services and economic infrastructure.”