Scotland’s ‘trends of high employment and low unemployment’ persist but our media prefer to headline only a wee bit of bad news


While the ONS figures today contain good news on employment in Scotland, our media have uniformly preferred to headline a tiny increase in unemployment. For Q2 or March-May 2018, employment remains at a near record level of 75.5% but unemployment has increased to just over 4%. Needless to say, that wee increase was more than enough to excite our ‘churnos’ on a bonus, to trumpet bad news about their own folk whenever they can, so we got:

People seeking work in Scotland up by 5,000 – BBC News –

Jobless Scots on the rise while falling UK-wide – The Scotsman

Unemployment rises by 5,000 in Scotland | Local News – Clyde 1

Number of Scots unemployed rises slightly to 120,000 – STV

Strangely, they had not drawn on the wider analysis of the Fraser of Allander Institute, this time. You’ll see why below:

The latest data reinforce the recent trends of high employment and low unemployment in the Scottish economy. While recent increases in unemployment, up by 0.5%-points over the past year, provides a note of caution, it is important to remember that unemployment remains, by historical standards, at a low rate. Similarly, an employment rate of 75.5% represents a near record level of employment in Scotland. The data suggest that there has been something of a shift away from self-employment over the past year, with all the employment growth coming from people working as employees.’



7 thoughts on “Scotland’s ‘trends of high employment and low unemployment’ persist but our media prefer to headline only a wee bit of bad news

  1. Alasdair Macdonald July 17, 2018 / 2:46 pm

    Not ‘by’ just over 4%, but ‘to’.

    As always, with such data, they latch on to a single datum, which, of course, has a margin of error, and, in any case, will be revised up or down over the next few months. You are right to refer to the Fraser of Allander comment, which sets things in the context of longer term trends.

    Of course, the reason for picking out such a minor change is to deflect from the continuing shambles over Brexit with the latest cabinet plan fiasco and the resignation of another minister for sexually explicit texting. I am no apologist for the disgraced SG Minister, Mr McDonald, who resigned and has been sanctioned by Parliament, but the huge amount of coverage his nastiness was given compared to the nugatory coverage of the Tory minister’s case is significant. In the few reports, the media have emphasised that the two women subjected to his 2000 messages, are BARMAIDS!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. John July 17, 2018 / 9:13 pm

    How the SNP survives I will never know . They very rarely come out fighting to defend themselves or their policies , no matter what tripe is thrown at them . Maybe they are passed caring what is said in the media knowing it will be a lose lose situation no matter what is said .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. gavin July 18, 2018 / 9:00 am

    The new tactic on the BBC Hootsman evening news, is to headline an upcoming item with reference to either Nicola Sturgeon or the SNP.
    When the actual news item comes on, however, then the bulk of it is focussed on Tory soundbites with Theresa May usually centre stage.
    Jacky let us know during the world cup, that her BBC news producer was from England.
    Why am I not surprised? Scotland only gets about half the per capita from its BBC licence fee spend, as England does, and much of that pittance is on non-Scottish productions and personnel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gavin July 18, 2018 / 9:02 am

      “Half the per capita spend, from its BBC licence fee” that should read. Sorry!

      Liked by 2 people

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