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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 November 2006, 17:12 GMT
Unemployment risen in last year
Job Centre
Figures suggest a rise in the number of self-employed
Unemployment in Scotland has risen over the last year, according to new figures.

The latest monthly government statistics show 87,800 people claiming the jobseekers' allowance in October - up 2,000 on the same month last year.

But the government's preferred method of calculation showed unemployment at 131,000 for the three months up to September.

This figure is down 11,000 on the same period a year ago.

Over the same three-month period, there were a total of 2.47 million people in employment, up by 22,000 compared to the previous quarter and 19,000 more than in the same period last year.

Part-time workers

Statisticians said the figures suggested a fall in the number of employees but a rise in the number of self-employed workers over the past year.

They also point to a rise in the number of part-time workers and a fall in the number of full-time workers.

The area with the highest unemployment was Inverclyde, where those seeking the jobseekers' allowance were 4.4% of the working age population.

The area with the lowest unemployment was in Aberdeenshire - at a rate of just 0.9%.

The Scotland Office said the figures showed the highest number of people in work recorded in Scotland since records began in 1992.

I welcome these latest figures which show that employment is up, unemployment is down, and the level of economic activity is rising
Scottish Secretary Douglas Alexander

Scottish Secretary Douglas Alexander said: "I welcome these latest figures which show that employment is up, unemployment is down, and the level of economic activity is rising.

"The new record high for employment is particularly pleasing and is an affirmative endorsement of the economic and labour market policies embraced by this government."

The Scottish National Party highlighted an increase of 52,000 since February 2003 in the number of economically inactive people who did not want to work.

Enterprise spokesman Jim Mather described it as an "extremely worrying trend" which showed the government was not doing enough to help people back to work.

"It is little wonder young Scots are leaving to find opportunity elsewhere," he said.

Murdo Fraser, the Scottish Conservative deputy leader and enterprise spokesman, said the figures were far from encouraging considering the increase in immigrant labour.

"It suggests that many indigenous Scots find it difficult to gain employment," he said.

"There are some 280,000 people of working age in Scotland who could be in employment but are not for one reason or another."

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12 Jul 06 |  Scotland

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