Commenting on publication of the latest set of official labour market statistics for Scotland published today Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary Grahame Smith said:
“After only very slow progress through most of 2013, confirmation of a big fall in unemployment last autumn is a great way to start the New Year. It’s also encouraging that both women and men experienced falls in unemployment over the last quarter and that long-term unemployment is starting to fall across all age-groups.
“However, today’s release also provides reasons to be cautious about the strength of the labour market recovery. The fall in unemployment this quarter is more attributable to people leaving the labour force than to people finding jobs. The increase in full-time jobs over the last year is also disappointing with only 8,000 more created. Progress in tackling youth unemployment is painfully slow with the 16-24 rate falling by only 0.9% over the year.
“The Scottish employment rate remains 4.1% below its peak of July 2008 and the unemployment rate 2.4% higher. Today’s figures, while welcome, provide no cause for complacency”.
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