This week: 22/3/19
Labour Market Statistics
- Scotland’s employment rate rose by 0.3 percentage points to 75.3%
- Unemployment in Scotland fell to 3.4%, the lowest rate on record
- Unemployment rate in Scotland (3.4%) is lower than the UK (3.9%) for sixth month in a row
- Scotland’s youth employment rate is 59.1%, higher than UK rate of 55.7%
- Unemployment rates for Scotland’s women (2.6%) and young people (7.4%) at record lows
Response to Spring Statement
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay delivered a Ministerial Statement in Scottish parliament, setting out the implications of the UK Government’s Spring Statement on Scotland’s economy and public spending.
Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, issued a statement on Scotrail. He said:
“Transport Scotland has entered into a Remedial Agreement with ScotRail on acceptance of their proposals to improve performance.
“I have instructed my officials to ensure robust measures are put in place to monitor progress very closely and I expect to see a continued upward trend of performance improvement. I will give an update on this at the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee next week.
“I have also been clear that franchising in its current format doesn’t work and that is why I continue to push Scotland’s interests, including further devolution of rail powers, to the UK-wide Williams review. Rail must deliver a system of greater reliability for users – customers, businesses and stakeholders deserve this much.”
Oslo trade visits
Trade, Investment and Innovation Minister Ivan McKee undetook a series of trade visits in Oslo to grow international trade and investment between Scotland and Norway across range of sectors and industries.
The Scottish economy grew for the eighth consecutive quarter according to official statistics. The latest GDP figures show the Scottish economy grew by 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2018, higher than the UK rate of 0.2%. Compared to the same period last year, it has grown by 1.3%. Economy Secretary Derek Mackay met employees at social enterprise
Haven in Larbert to welcome the statistics.
Economy Secretary Derek Mackay visited Edinburgh University’s Bayes Centre to discuss the university’s plans for for the Data Driven Innovation stream of the City Region Deal, and underline the Scottish Government’s commitment to ensuring Scottish universities fulfil their economic potential.
Car ownership alternatives
More people across Scotland will be able to use ultra-low emission vehicles thanks to a £510,000 investment from the Scottish Government.
The Plugged-in Households Grant Fund will support eight housing associations across Scotland to procure the services of car clubs. This will allow tenants, local residents and staff to hire electric vehicles when they require the use of a car. The fund also provides financial support for housing associations to promote these new services locally.