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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-08791: Jamie Greene (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 12 April 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to tackle unemployment.

Answered by: Jamie Hepburn 2 May 2017

Labour market statistics published this month show that between December 2016 and February 2017 the unemployment rate in Scotland fell to 4.5%.

Scotland outperforms the UK on youth employment, unemployment and inactivity rates

Scotland’s youth unemployment level has halved over the last year to 32,000. The youth unemployment rate (8.9%) is the 3rd lowest rate in the EU.

Scotland has the second lowest female unemployment rate (15-74) across the EU at 4.7%, behind Germany at 3.7%.

As outlined in our Labour Market Strategy, published in August last year, the Scottish Government is committed to a more inclusive approach to the economy. It is an approach supported by a growing body of evidence which shows that countries with more equal societies typically enjoy stronger, more sustainable growth over the long run. Our focus will be on creating more jobs, better quality jobs and jobs that work for every individual in terms of skills, pay, security, and prospects.

Through Work First Scotland and Work Able Scotland we will deliver up to 4,800 places for those with health conditions or disability which came into force on 1 April 2017.

We are on track to deliver Fair Start Scotland, from April 2018. Which will support 38,000 people starting the programme over the three years of referral.

We are implementing the recommendations of the Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce (DYW) in our Youth Employment Strategy to reduce youth unemployment by 40% by 2021.