Unemployment in Scotland falls by 7000 to 199,000, figures reveal

The number of jobless in Scotland has fallen by 7000 to stand at 199,000 between January and March.

The figures published by the Office for National Statistics show that headline employment rose by 54,000 in the three month period to March 2013, which is the largest quarterly rise in employment in Scotland since the start of the series in 1992.

Scotland’s headline employment rate, which refers to the population aged 16 to 64, rose to 71.8%, is the largest increase in employment rate of any nation or region in the United Kingdom. The rate for the UK as a whole is 71.4%.

Welcoming the news First Minister Alex Salmond said: "The figures show the largest rise in employment on record with an increase of 54,000 people in employment. Scotland also showed the largest quarterly rise in employment rate of all 12 UK countries and regions.

"Scotland is out-performing the UK with a higher employment rate and lower unemployment rate. And our youth employment rate is continuing to make encouraging progress with more young people in work and youth unemployment falling again.

"The Scottish Government, our agencies and employers across Scotland have set a clear course for recovery. We are working hard to get people back into work and to create opportunities for our young people.

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