Commenting on publication of the latest set of labour markets statistics for Scotland, Grahame Smith, Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary said:
“Today’s figures confirm another welcome decline in ILO unemployment in Scotland but, yet again, this headline figure masks a number of worrying labour market trends.
“Employment actually fell over the quarter, claimant count unemployment rose marginally and long-term unemployment remains stubbornly high. Too many workers are being forced into part-time and/or temporary employment when they need full-time, permanent work to make ends meet.
“The STUC is pessimistic over the prospects for a continuing decline in ILO unemployment. Demand is very weak with real wages continuing to decline at a rapid rate, real household incomes are falling and, inevitably, every forward looking indicator of consumer confidence is collapsing. Today’s Bank of England Agents’ summary of business conditions provides no evidence of a looming investment boom.
“Of course, today’s employment statistics refer to the period before the coalition’s spending cuts really started to bite in April this year. With 18,000 jobs already lost in the public sector in Scotland in the year to December 2010, the outlook for the labour market remains bleak.”
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