Page last updated at 10:24 GMT, Wednesday, 12 May 2010 11:24 UK

Scottish unemployment rises by 10,000 in three months

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The unemployment rate in Scotland has reached 8.1%

Unemployment in Scotland has risen by 10,000 in the three months to March, official figures have shown.

The number of people out of work now stands at 216,000 - 55,000 more than in the same period last year.

Despite the rise, the number of adults claiming benefit fell 1,000 to 135,400 in April, the Office for National Statistics said.

The Scottish unemployment rate now stands at 8.1%, higher than the UK rate of 8%.

Across Britain, unemployment increased by 53,000 between January and March to more than 2.5 million, the highest level since 1994.

'Promote business'

However, those claiming Jobseeker's Allowance fell by 27,100 to 1.52 million in April.

Scotland's Enterprise Minister, Jim Mather, said: "The third consecutive monthly fall in the number of people claiming jobseekers allowance demonstrates that our work to protect and support jobs is making a difference.

"These figures show that Scotland's recovery remains fragile, and we face considerable challenges as we work to consolidate recovery."

David Lonsdale, assistant director at CBI Scotland, said the data showed that Scotland was emerging from recession at a "decidedly modest rate".

He added: "For many firms and individuals it will not feel like recovery for some time yet, reinforcing the need for government at all levels to prioritise policies which promote business investment and exports."

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