Record low unemployment in Scotland

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported a record low of people unemployed in Scotland in the final months of 2018. 

However, the fact that the job market is now very crowded could lead to issues for people wanting to find employment in the future.

Jobcentre-plus-

UK Job centre. Credit J Ellison.

In the last ten years, the Scottish economy has been re-energised by the spirit of entrepreneurship. People across the country are contributing massively to the Scottish job market by creating businesses and brands that excite and capture the imagination of the public. This, in turn, creates a demand for people who have a wide range of skills that appeal to potential employers.

Findings by the ONS reported that employment among people aged 16-24 was around 60% with more than 300,000 young people in either full or part-time work. It also revealed that the youth unemployment rate was down by 1.2% reaching 8.4%. Overall, Scotland had the lowest unemployment rate at 3.6% compared to 4.1% in England and 3.9% in Wales.

Scotland has kept costs for homegrown students to a minimum which means more young people and even older people are pursuing further education.

A college student studying construction shred his thought on how these figures are negative for him:


The ONS reported that between September and November last year, the unemployment figures dropped to below 100,000. This means that over 75% of the working population in Scotland is in employment. This comes as good news as Brexit grows ever closer.

Scottish Business Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “Despite the huge and continued challenges of Brexit, the Scottish economy remains resilient and our jobs market is strengthening.”

It was recently revealed Sir James Dyson was moving his headquarters from the UK to Singapore amid Brexit chaos. This may, however, turn out to be a good move for the UK. Dyson is trying to tap into the massive Asian consumer market. If business profits increase then the company will have to pay more in UK taxes.

Scotland has seen a sharp rise in the number of permanent and temporary staff over the later months of 2018. This growth in the job market outperformed the UK as a whole. Both staff groups also found that they were receiving on average, higher wages. This may be due to the drop in workers’ availability where employers have to employ more people to cover workers who possess the skills required but have other commitments.

Even though the low unemployment figures are a good sign that people are in work and are able to contribute to the economy it does pose problems for people who are coming straight into a heavily saturated job market where there are fewer opportunities than there was before. The hope is that continued investment by people with an idea or a business can generate more wealth for the whole of Scotland.

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