The Scottish Government has welcomed the publication of the latest labour market figures by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which has confirmed that the number of people in work has continued to increase, with the number of women working at a record high.
Female employment is now at 1,244,000 and is the largest number of women working since records began back in 1992, however, it is likely that this number will not have been beaten even before records did begin.
At 69.8% employment, Scotland is considerably ahead of the British average of 67.9% in terms of the number of women working and this can only be seen as a success, as it seems that the gender balance is certainly greater in Scotland.
With the overall number of people in employment in Scotland rising by 16,000 since last year, it is clear to see that Scotland’s economic recovery is well on track as businesses start to expand to larger markets. And, with the British employment rate at 72.9% (compared to Scotland at 73.4%), it would seem as though we are also making gains on our close neighbours.
Commenting on these results, SNP politician Fiona McLeod said: “These figures are a welcome endorsement of the Scottish Government’s efforts to boost the economy and create jobs – with Scotland’s employment rate outpacing the UK’s as a whole.
“That female employment is now at a record high is particularly welcome, but while we are heading in the right direction, there is more that could be done.”
Indeed, that is what both the British and Scottish Governments are looking at doing by improving their support for young families with better financial support for childcare being offered. This means that it is now much easier for both parents to go to work, which will only increase the number of women working.
What does all of this news mean for girls still in school looking to move on into the workplace soon? Angela Constance, the Cabinet Secretary for Training, Youth and Women’s Employment was keen to emphasise how important these ongoing developments are for youth and women’s employment.
“We will redouble our efforts to enable Scotland’s young people to share the benefits of the growing jobs market.
“Everyone aged between 16 and 19 is currently guaranteed an offer of a place in training or education through Opportunities for All helping to reduce the numbers of young people claiming benefits for over 6 months.”
So for those who decide to go to work either instead of or after higher education, it seems as though the range of occupations available to go into is still increasing with various training courses available depending on the occupation you are most interested in. The Scottish Government is going ahead with their plans to reduce youth unemployment; whether or not Scotland does vote Yes in September will not make much of a difference to these plans. What these statistics show is that Scotland is improving economically and they certainly make good reading for Scotland’s economic future.
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