Leader of Labour in Scotland Johann Lamont gave a cautious welcome
to the good Scottish jobs news
Scottish news: Scottish jobs outperform UK figures
New statistics released today (Wednesday) show the Scottish jobs market is doing better than south of the border. Unemployment in Scotland fell by 12,000 in the three months to February – with the Scottish jobless rate at 8.1 per cent, below the UK average of 8.3%.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) report also shows employment increased by 17,000 over the same period however Scottish Parliament Finance Committee member Paul Wheelhouse MSP said that despite positive indications in the Scottish economy, there must be no room for complacency and now the UK Government must stump the money from the list of Shovel Ready projects provided by the SNP Government.
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Johann Lamont, Scottish Labour Leader gave cautious welcome to the figures saying: “While we are pleased that the jobs figures have increased, it is clear that Scotland still has a long way to go before the tide has turned.
“The fact that the Scottish economy slipped back in the last quarter is evidence we are not out of the woods yet.
“While any drop in unemployment is welcome, I am concerned that women's unemployment continues to rise.
“It is clear that we have a particular problem with female employment that the SNP Government has failed to address and this is a direct result of their decision to target local government for cuts and the disproportionate impact this has on female workers.
“In order to sustain this progress and lock down any recovery, we need concerted action in each of our communities and that is why Labour has set out ambitious plans to protect and create local jobs all over
Mr Wheelhouse, SNP MSP for South of Scotland reacted positively to the Scottish jobs news saying:
“These are greatly encouraging statistics. Scotland now has lower unemployment, higher employment, and lower economic inactivity than the UK as a whole with more people finding employment and a fall in the jobless rate.
“Action taken by the SNP Government – including increased capital expenditure and improved access to finance for medium and small sized businesses – must not be derailed by spending cuts from Westminster.
“Every £100m of investment in capital projects supports an estimated 1400 jobs. David Cameron himself accepted the link between the two when he met with the First Minister. Given that Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies made clear to the Finance Committee that the case for a fiscal stimulus, such as increasing capital investment, is stronger now than it was last year, David Cameron now needs to help us get these projects going as soon as possible.
“The Scottish Government is doing what it can with its limited resources but the Shovel Ready money is vital to create more jobs and push the recovery forward.”
For the Scottish Conservatives Gavin Brown MSP said: "We welcome the decrease in unemployment and hope that this continues.
"But we cannot be complacent and it is important both the UK and Scottish Governments do all they can to help support businesses create jobs.
"Initiatives like the National Loan Guarantee Scheme and the Youth Contract scheme are doing exactly that."
Scotland’s Chief Statistician today announced the release of Scottish GDP figures for 2011 Q4.
This quarterly publication measures growth, in real terms, of Gross Domestic Product at Basic Prices, also known as Gross Value Added, for Scotland.
The main findings are:
- GDP contracted by 0.1 per cent during the fourth quarter of 2011. On an annual basis, comparing the latest four quarters to the previous four quarters (4Q on 4Q basis), it grew by 0.5 per cent.
- During the fourth quarter of 2011 there was growth of 0.2 per cent in the Services sector, Production sector output remained unchanged and Construction sector output fell by 2.7 per cent.
- On an annual basis (4Q on 4Q) output in the Services sector has grown by 0.4 per cent, the production sector has grown by 1.7 per cent and the Construction sector fell by 1.5 per cent.
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