Page last updated at 15:01 GMT, Wednesday, 16 September 2009 16:01 UK

Scottish unemployment rises again

The number claiming jobseeker's allowance rose by 2,200

Unemployment has continued to rise in Scotland with 187,000 now out of work - an increase of 75,000 on last year.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show a rise of 11,000 unemployed between May and July.

It represents an unemployment rate of 7% in Scotland, compared with a UK figure of 7.9%.

The number claiming jobseeker's allowance also rose, to 132,900 in August - up 2,200 on the month before and 53,200 on the same month last year.

Economic activity

Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy said: "These latest figures show the true cost of the global economic conditions.

"In the midst of all the talk of economic recovery, no one should lose sight of the fact the recession is still having a real impact on families, particularly those on modest and middle incomes."

The Scottish Government's Enterprise Minister Jim Mather said Scotland continued to have higher employment, lower unemployment and higher rates of economic activity than the UK as a whole.

He said: "We have accelerated major infrastructure investment, and it is crucial that we are able to continue this good work."

"Therefore, we are urging the chancellor to use his pre-Budget report to allow us to accelerate capital spending into 2010-11, just as we have done this year, and go on supporting thousands of jobs across Scotland."

Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy and First Minister Salmond on spending choices

Scottish Trades Union Congress general secretary Grahame Smith said the figures confirmed "another worrying rise" in Scottish unemployment.

He said: "With unemployment likely to continue to rise well into next year, it is essential that government at all levels continues to provide effective support to those who have suffered most during this recession."

Meanwhile, other statistics showed the public sector now employs 614,700 people in Scotland - if staff in the state-rescued Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group are included.

If these staff are excluded from the calculation, the figure falls to 572,200, a drop of about 4,200 on last year.

Most of the public sector workforce - 502,000 people - work for the Scottish Government and other devolved bodies and quangos (34,900), the NHS (161,400) and local government (274,200, excluding police and firefighters).

The rest - almost 70,000, excluding the rescued banks - work for UK public bodies such as the armed forces.

The Scottish Government highlighted figures which showed a fall of 4,400 over the year in the number of staff working in devolved organisations, and a rise of 200 in the number of staff working for UK public organisations excluding banks.

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