Unemployment in Scotland rose between May and July, according to official figures published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) today.
The unemployment rate in Scotland is now higher than the UK average, though the proportion of Scots in jobs increased slightly over the same period.
Andrew McRae, the Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) Scotland policy chair, said: “These figures show that unemployment in Scotland rose over the summer. As we look ahead to a difficult autumn and winter, we need Ministers in Edinburgh and London to ensure they’re giving local businesses the tools they need to retain workers and to create jobs.
“The job retention scheme has been a lifeline for firms facing circumstances beyond their control - with recent figures showing almost 800,000 workers in Scotland were furloughed. The Chancellor should now look closely at the scheme to see if targeted extensions are necessary for sectors facing the toughest restrictions or the most difficult trading conditions. He should also look at mechanisms to make it affordable for firms to take on new workers by, for example, reducing employers’ national insurance contributions.
“Ministers in Edinburgh have work to do as well. The recent Programme for Government outlined measures to create jobs while tackling climate change. These initiatives need to get going quickly if they’re going to provide opportunities for people and firms facing off against the current crisis.”
As experts in business, FSB offers members a wide range of vital business services, including advice, financial expertise, support and a powerful voice in Government. Its aim is to help smaller businesses achieve their ambitions.