Labour market statistics show impact of pandemic
By Business, Fair Work and Skills Minister Jamie Hepburn
Between February and April 2020, Scotland’s employment rate estimate fell over the quarter to 74.3% and the unemployment rate estimate rose over the quarter to 4.6%.
These are the first labour market statistics to include a full month of lockdown measures, and show clearly the scale of the challenge facing Scotland as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
I know that many people will be feeling a deep sense of anxiety about their livelihoods. Keeping people in work while supporting those who have lost their jobs will continue to be at the heart of our thinking as we carefully reopen the economy.
Scotland’s labour market has changed drastically since the lockdown measures were imposed. As such we will be convening a Labour Market Summit tomorrow, with Deputy First Minister John Swinney, Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop, Further Education Minister Richard Lochhead and I leading discussions with Skills Development Scotland and the Scottish Funding Council to ensure a co-ordinated approach to tackling unemployment, giving people skills for the jobs that will be needed as we emerge from the crisis.
While the Scottish Government has welcomed the support schemes from HMRC during this time, and their extension, it is important that we ensure this support continues to be offered for as long as required, particularly in sectors such as tourism, hospitality, retail, culture, and oil and gas, which will not have fully recovered by October. That is why we are urging the UK Government to work with us to ensure support reflects what is required in Scotland. Failure to do so will put the economy at a competitive disadvantage in recovering from this crisis, and could result in additional job losses. We must not allow that to happen.
Tags: Labour Market