Cautious welcome on unemployment rate in Scotland

Scotland’s unemployment rate continues to be higher than the rest of Britain’s despite a fall over the past three months.

Figures released today show the rate north of the border was 5.2 per cent between April and June, higher than the UK level of 4.9 per cent.

It means 143,000 people in Scotland remain out of work, an improvement on the previous quarter.

The Scottish Conservatives urged the SNP to explain why the economy here continues to under-perform in comparison to the rest of the country.

Shadow economy secretary Dean Lockhart also highlighted the fact the average number of full-time hours worked in Scotland was below the rest of the UK.

Local Scottish Conservative MSP Jamie Greene said

"We welcome this drop in unemployment. However, we are concerned that the Scottish economy continues to lag behind the rest of the UK.

"Not only is unemployment higher in Scotland, but the figures also show Scotland has the lowest average weekly hours worked in full-time jobs.

"It is very clear that the SNP has mismanaged the Scottish economy in the past nine years and this has resulted in lower economic growth north of the border.

"Its policies are making us weaker than the rest of Britain, and while the nationalists focus on drafting plans to drag Scotland back into another divisive referendum, our economy under-performs."