31 July | 04:59:50
Scotland's Student Newspaper
Instability in Scottish labour market
New statistics reveal unemployment rate higher than the UK average, but graduate jobs are still scarce
Rachel Hunt
Wednesday, 27 October, 2010 | 00:00
Credit: Enrico Strocchi on flickr

Figures released last week by the National Office for Statistics showed a mixed picture for Scotland’s labour market.

In the three-month period up until the end of August, the number of Scots out of work rose by 13,000, taking the total to 231,000. This leaves the Scottish unemployment rate at 8.6 per cent, an increase of 37,000 people compared to the same period last year.

In comparison, unemployment fell by 20,000 in the UK as a whole, with the average rate below that of Scotland’s at 7.7 per cent.

Despite this, the amount of Scots claiming Jobseekers allowance fell by 1,100, the sixth fall over the past eight months.

Furthermore, the total number of people who are in work rose by 10,000.

In response to the figures, Scottish Secretary Michael Moore said: "The coalition Government is taking real steps to ensure we create a secure economy which in turn creates long-term, quality jobs.

"I welcome the news the number of people receiving Jobseeker's Allowance fell last month. A lot of work is needed to create a long-lasting labour market recovery and we have already begun that task.

"Only a balanced economy will guarantee the necessary investment for new jobs. The Spending Review is a crucial stepping stone on the way to recovery.

"It is not just about cuts and tackling the deficit, but laying the groundwork for future growth."

Shadow Scotland Secretary Ann McKechin spoke of the “tragedy” behind the statistics and mentioned how Scots were faced with “a double hit from two governments that aren’t working”.

She added: "One of the first thing the Tories and Lib Dems did was cut the Future Jobs Fund – the very scheme that helped young unemployed people back into work."

The 10,000 increase of people in employment takes into account the influx of new workers into the job market, such as graduating students.

However, there are grounds for concern among students in higher education as links are drawn between the current recession and bids to cut places at university.

Liam Burns, president of NUS Scotland, told The Journal: “We know that recessions disproportionately affect the young. 'Last in, first out' policies and a surge in overqualified applicants due to job loss in older generations mean that even if you're lucky enough to get a foot in the door, making it into the workplace is still a challenge.

“It's important not to scaremonger though. Graduates still have a huge advantage over non-graduates when it comes to employment and prospects. So this is not an excuse for the tired argument that university places should be cut.

“It is an incredibly tough time for graduates, but they are graduates nonetheless. We need to increase the opportunities of young people by responding to the unprecedented increase in demand in higher education.”

More articles like this
|| || || || || ||
Share this article:
blog comments powered by Disqus
The Journal in print