Scottish unemployment rate climbs higher than rest of UK

UK plc grew by 0.4 per cent in the fourth quarter slightly lower than the initial official estimate of 0.5 per cent
UK plc grew by 0.4 per cent in the fourth quarter slightly lower than the initial official estimate of 0.5 per cent
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25 February, 2018

SNP employability minister Jamie Hepburn said both unemployment and employment had improved year on year, but said the latest quarterly numbers were "disappointing".

Pope added: "An upwards revision to estimated receipts of corporation tax, PAYE and National Insurance over the first nine months of this financial year have contributed to borrowing being over £2bn lower than thought a month ago".

United Kingdom economic growth was been revised down to 0.4 per cent for the final quarter of 2017 in the second estimate of national income produced by the Office for National Statistics.

"Unemployment remains relatively low by historical standards and there are still 10,000 fewer people unemployed in Scotland than this time a year ago".

"Latest estimates from the Labour Force Survey show that following a period of a continuous decline, the number of unemployed people increased by 46,000 to 1.47 million", the ONS says in a statement.

Household spending remained lacklustre, notching up a 0.3% expansion in the final three months of 2017. Nonetheless, the rate was below consumer price inflation of 3 percent registered in December.

"This is demonstrated by our Budget investments of nearly £2.4bn in enterprise and skills and the most attractive package of non-domestic rates reliefs available anywhere in the United Kingdom, including the Small Business Bonus, worth £720m, and the UK's first nursery relief".

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Unemployment rises at sharpest rate for nearly five years

James Smith, an economist at ING Bank, said wage data suggests that the tightness in the labor market is causing firms to lift pay packets to retain staff and hire new talent.

In January, the claimant count rate fell to 2.3 percent from 2.4 percent in December.

Claimant count figures for benefits have also been released, and they reveal that at January 11, the number of claimants in all of Gwent's council areas, except Torfaen, had fallen compared to January past year.

The ONS also reported that business investment was flat in the final quarter of a year ago, despite City expectations of an 0.5 per cent increase.

The rate for people aged 16 and over was five per cent for that period, up 0.9 per cent on the previous quarter (July-September).

Thomas Pope, a research economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said that the chancellor will be "pleased" with the most recent figures, which enables him to lower the borrowing forecast in this year's Spring Statement next month.

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