The SNP has welcomed figures showing the number of young people claiming Job Seekers Allowance has fallen by 28.9 per cent – with the number of young people in jobs continuing to rise.
SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn recently highlighted figures showing a 25.73% drop in JSA claimants – which has now increased to 28.9%.
The number of young people moving into employment continues to be the highest of all nations in the UK – with the rate in Scotland at 56.6%, compared with 52.1% across the UK. The youth unemployment rate is now 20.9% compared to the UK’s 21.9%.
The Office for National Statistics figures also show Scotland has a higher jobs, lower unemployment and lower inactivity rate than the rest of the UK as a whole.
Employment has increased by 75,000 over the past year and 16,000 between July and September, with Scotland’s employment rate increasing by 0.7per cent to 72.8% against a UK rate of 71.8%.
Welcoming the figures, Mr Hepburn, said:
“These positive figures highlight the significant progress being made in Scotland. Whilst getting young people into jobs remains a challenge and something the SNP Government is tackling head on through schemes such as Opportunities for All, we must note that our youth employment rate is ahead of the UK as a whole and the number of young people in jobs continues to rise.
“The number of 16-19 year olds on the claimant count has fallen by 28.9%, which means 3,515 young people are no longer on the claimant count – that is something that must be welcomed.
“We are getting young people into work. The progress made by the SNP Government is reflected in these figures that show since 2008 we have seen a drop of 11.5% in the number of young people on the claimant count.
“Scotland has a higher employment, lower unemployment and lower inactivity rate than the rest of the UK as a whole.
“The number of people getting into work has steadily increased in each of the last 10 months and there has been a fall of 12,000 in youth unemployment over the year.
“These are all welcome signs of what the SNP Government has been able to achieve with the limited powers available to us. Yet with a Yes vote next year for the job creating powers of an independent Scotland, we can do even more to make Scotland a more prosperous country.”