Scottish Secretary responds to September Labour Market Statistics

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said:

Today’s labour market figures have encouraging signs and, as we recover from the pandemic, we will continue to do all we can to get people back into work, support businesses and see the economy flourish again.

Throughout the crisis the furlough scheme alone supported over 900,000 Scottish jobs and by the end of July this year, that figure was down to 116,000. People are getting back to work and our Plan For Jobs is aiding that process, while our Kickstart initiative is creating opportunities for young people.

The unprecedented success of the UK Government-funded vaccine rollout is allowing us to move forward from restrictive lockdown measures. The UK Government remains focused on recovery from the pandemic.

Background points:
  • The UK Government’s furlough and self-employed schemes will run till the end of September 2021. At their peak, these schemes supported more than 900,000 Scottish jobs.
  • More than 100,000 Scottish businesses have benefitted from £4 billion of UK Government loans.
  • The UK Government has provided billions in extra funding for the welfare system for those unable to access other forms of support. This includes the £20 Universal Credit uplift which will run until the end of September 2021.
  • This direct support is on top of the additional £14.5 billion provided to the Scottish Government since the start of the pandemic.
  • The UK Government is investing billions to help people of all ages back into work, including our £2 billion Kickstart scheme for young people, sector-based work programmes and recruitment of thousands of additional work coaches.
  • The UK Government is funding the UK-wide vaccine programme, and continues to provide all Covid testing in Scotland outside of the NHS.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that unemployment in Scotland fell to 4.3% between May and July, a 0.1% decrease from the previous quarter. The rate of employment in Scotland increased by 0.2% over the same period.

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