18 Apr 2012

The SNP has welcomed statistics out today (Wednesday) showing unemployment in Scotland fell by 12,000 in the three months to February – with the Scottish jobless rate at 8.1 per cent, below the UK average of 8.3%.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) report also shows employment increased by 17,000 over the same period, but John Mason MSP said that despite positive indications in the Scottish economy, there must be no room for complacency and now the UK Government must stump the money from the list of Shovel Ready projects provided by the SNP Government.

John Mason, SNP Member of the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow Shettleston, said:

“These are greatly encouraging statistics – the biggest fall in unemployment in Scotland for over a year.

“Scotland now has lower unemployment, higher employment, and lower economic inactivity than the UK as a whole with more people finding employment and a fall in the jobless rate.

“This is the biggest fall in unemployment in Scotland for over a year, since November 2010-January 2011 and Scotland is outperforming the rest of the UK, with our jobless rate of 8.1% which is below the UK average of 8.3%.

“Action taken by the SNP Government – including increased capital expenditure and improved access to finance for medium and small sized businesses – must not be derailed by Westminster.

“What we now need to continue moving Scotland forward is an injection of increased capital spending – which is why I am delighted that the First Minister has again called on David Cameron to deliver on the list of 300 million pounds of ‘shovel-ready’ projects across Scotland to boost growth and support thousands of jobs.

“The Scottish economy is surviving the harsh Westminster cuts better than most other parts of the UK but the Shovel Ready money is vital to create more jobs and push the recovery forward.”