Reported in the Holyrood Magazine:
‘The number of people out of work in Scotland rose by 9,000 to 113,000 in the three months to August, while the same figures also showed a rise in the employment rate. The Scottish unemployment rate was 0.3 per cent higher than the previous quarter and now stands at 4.1 per cent, while the employment rate rose to 75.3 per cent. Across the UK the number of jobless fell but the rate remains higher than in Scotland at 4.3 per cent.’
The Employability Minister reminded us that Scotland continues to outperform the rest of the UK and the Fraser of Allander Institute in a rare moment of optimism said the figures were ‘robust’. They even went on to say: ‘These data represent some good news for the Scottish economy with continued growth in the employment rate.’ They couldn’t keep it up though and remembered to say something negative: ‘Nevertheless, the relatively fragile economic growth experienced over the past two years in Scotland remains a concern, as do wider indicators of the health of the economy.’ You’ll know, this is guff if you’ve read some of the earlier posts here such as:
But, but, are the June to August figures not more to do with at least some of around a quarter of a million full-time students returning to the job market and don’t they make any other assessment of economic health impossible? University exams finish in May and courses start again in September. There’s no way I can tell, as far as I can see, of knowing how many of them signed on as unemployed, how many got invisible casual jobs and how many of them got proper jobs over the summer months but they are counted if possible. See this:
‘Are full-time students included in the headline youth unemployment figures? Yes, anyone who meets the internationally agreed definition on unemployment is deemed to be unemployed – crucially this is regardless of whether or not they are enrolled in full-time education. As a result, a full-time student looking for part-time work would be counted as unemployed. In Oct-Dec 2011 for example, it is estimated that approximately 35% (36,000) of unemployed 16-24 year-olds in Scotland were also in full-time education.’
Maybe, among non-students, unemployment fell and employment rose even more? I expect a more erudite reader will be on soon to enlighten us all.