Although the figures announced earlier today show little change in the number of people who are unemployed, the employment rate in Scotland is the highest since comparable records began at 74.2%.
The City of Edinburgh Council’s Economy Watch produced in April showed that in March 2016 the number of people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance had fallen by half a percentage point in a year. In particular claims from the age group 16-24 had fallen by 1.1%.
The Edinburgh Reporter met with local Job Centre boss Linda Gibb who is upbeat about the position in the capital.
Ms Gibb said: “The national figures tell us that there are more people in work across the UK than ever before with a record low unemployment rate of 5.1%.
“These are another record-breaking set of figures with more people in work than ever before, and the unemployment rate is the lowest in a decade.
“We are working very hard to make sure that our customers are linking up with local employers. We understand what local employers are looking for in job applicants, and I think that greater understanding of what the employers’ needs are helps. We can put our customers in front of employers to give them the best chance of being successful is beginning to pay dividends.
“We have four offices across the city Wester Hailes, High Riggs, Edinburgh City and Leith. The trend in Edinburgh is upward into employment and downward into claiming benefits. It’s exciting news for Edinburgh.
“There is lower unemployment within 18-24 year old age group. The figure in this age range has dramatically decreased. We are particularly proud of that.
“Our unemployment partnership team has a partnership with the Edinburgh Guarantee scheme run by the City of Edinburgh Council.”
Malte Werner Work Services Manager at Edinburgh City Job Centre Plus commented: “The figures prove that our work is having an impact, and that we are helping more and more young people in particular. At this particular office we focus on the 18-24 year old age group.
“There are more people than ever before who have the chance to enjoy secure jobs and enjoy having their own income which allows them to make better lives for themselves.
“The figures that we have for the city of Edinburgh show that across all age groups there has been a fall in unemployment of around 10% in the last year. There has been a decrease of 53% since 2010. So what we can see is that we have had a very positive development and a fall in unemployment since 2010 with a further fall since the current UK government took office in 2015.
“We still have work to do and we work hard with our work coaches here and partners like Skills Development Scotland and other partners like Prince’s Trust and Rock Trust to ensure that we help those people who are not yet benefiting from secure employment.”
Unemployment in Scotland was up by 8,000 over the quarter to March 2016 at 169,000. This is an increase of 2,000 on the same period last year. At 6.2% the Scottish unemployment rate is higher than the UK rate of 5.1%.