Source: United Kingdom – Government Statements
Commenting on the latest Labour Market Statistics report released today Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said:
“As expected, the impact of coronavirus is now starting to show in the labour market statistics and will do for some time to come.
“The UK Government is doing everything in its power to protect the livelihoods of Scottish people during this unprecedented pandemic and will continue to do so.
“Our Job Retention Scheme has ensured thousands of people in Scotland continue to get paid while they are unable to work and this is in addition to the £3.7 billion package already given to Holyrood to help tackle the crisis.
“These actions mean the UK economy will be able to bounce back when circumstances allow.”
For the three months to March, Scotland’s overall labour market headline figures indicate a moderate weakening before the full extent of the damage to the labour market because of the fall in economic activity: employment fell moderately (-14,000) and unemployment increased moderately (+16,000) and activity increased marginally (+2,000).
In addition, monthly claimant count numbers are increasing rapidly over the month of April, as there are 186,000 people in Scotland claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance and out-of-work Universal Credit (seasonally adjusted); this is up 74,600 on the month of March (revised).
As a result, Scotland’s unemployment rate at 4.1% is now modestly up on the rate we had around 12 month ago and up on the recent record low at the start of the year 2019, when it was 3.2%. However, this is not a true reflection of the current crisis situation due to Covid-19.
Currently, Scotland’s unemployment rate at 4.1% is above that of the UK as a whole (3.9%), which increased marginally over the last quarter. Furthermore, the number of people employed at 2,666,000 in Scotland is somewhat down on the recent record high at 2,702,000. This means that Scotland’s employment rate, at 74.7%, remains below the UK’s rate at 76.6%.
Next month’s data release will show more how Covid-19 and the economic lockdown is going to impact negatively the labour market.