By Claire West

Unemployment is continuing to drop in Scotland according to official statistics released today by the ONS. Youth employment has grown by 20,000 in April-June this year, bringing the employment number up to 363,000 — the highest figure in ten years.

Unemployment levels continue to drop as the number is down this quarter to 7,000, now resting at a point of 14 per cent. This is the lowest it has been since April-June 2008.

The labour market statistics also show the unemployment level and rate down over the quarter and the year, with a fall of 13,000 over the quarter bringing the rate down 0.4 percentage points to 5.6 per cent.

Fair Work, Skills and Training Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham has said:

“Once again we are seeing youth employment rising in Scotland — indeed, reaching its highest since 2005 — and youth unemployment falling. In the three months between April and June 2015 20,000 young people got jobs - 20,000 young people in work who weren’t before.

“We now have the highest youth employment level since 2005 and the lowest youth unemployment level and rate since 2008, with overall unemployment also down.

“These are encouraging signs of an improving economic landscape in Scotland, following on from official statistics last month showing the economy grew by 0.6 per cent in the first three months of this year.

“Our priority is to maintain that progress and tackle those areas where we need to see further improvement. For example, there was a slight fall in all-age employment and a small rise in economic inactivity — although we continue to outperform the rest of the UK in these measures.

“We will continue to work with employers and all other interested parties to ensure more of our young men and women get in to work and stay in work, in line with our ambitions outlined in the Youth Employment Strategy.

“As our economy continues to grow, we will use every power we currently have at our disposal to grow the economy even further, increase employment, lower unemployment and remove barriers to the labour market.”