Responding to publication of the latest set of ONS labour market statistics, Grahame Smith, Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary said:
“Today’s figures confirm another welcome fall in ILO unemployment and strong employment growth compared to the UK as a whole.
“Nevertheless, there is much to be concerned about in these figures. The claimant count continues to rise and every indicator of long-term JSA is up on the month to June. Women continue to suffer disproportionately in the weak labour market: female JSA claimants increased by 20% in the year to June while there was no change in the number of men claiming JSA.
“Given the on-going fall in total hours worked across the UK, it is reasonable to assume that many of the new jobs being created are part-time, temporary positions. Workers across the economy continue to experience arbitrary cuts in hours. This is bad for the individuals concerned and their families but also exerts a significant drag on final demand.
“Current data points to weak, and possibly negative, growth in the second quarter. With the bulk of spending cuts still to be implemented, weak business investment and collapsing consumer confidence the prospects for the Scottish labour market in the second half of 2011 look increasingly bleak”.
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