DWF comments on Scotland’s ONS employment data published this week
Ann Frances Cooney, a partner at DWF leading the Scottish employment law practice, said:
“The unemployment rate in Scotland was 4.4% for the three months from December 2020 to February 2021. This is no change on the quarter and 0.6% up on the year. By way of comparison, the UK unemployment rate as a whole was 4.9% for the same period, representing a 0.1% decrease on the previous quarter. The stabilisation of the figures has come at a time when Scotland had severe restrictions in place in response to the pandemic, demonstrating a somewhat more resilient employment market.
“Further, the employment rate in Scotland was 74.6%, showing a 0.2% increase on the quarter, signifying a slight improvement during an incredibly challenging quarter. As Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics at the ONS, states: “The latest figures suggest that the job market has been broadly stable in recent months after the major shock of last spring”.”
“With the vaccination programme on target and producing good levels of protection against COVID-19 and businesses working diligently to re-open, there is scope for optimism that we can expect to see the labour market figures remain steady and continue to improve in the short to medium term. The continued success of the vaccination programme will prove critical for the Scottish job market in advance of the furlough scheme expiring in September.”