Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Scottish Unemployment Falls by 12,000


UNEMPLOYMENT LOWER THAN UK

MSP SAYS ‘SHOVEL READY’ PROJECT MONEY IS NEEDED TO PUSH SCOTLAND’S ECONOMY ALONG THE ROAD TO RECOVERY

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 Paul Wheelhouse 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.

Mr Wheelhouse, SNP MSP for South of Scotland and a member of the Finance Committee, said:

“These are greatly encouraging statistics. 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.

“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 spending cuts from Westminster.

“Every £100m of investment in capital projects supports an estimated 1400 jobs. David Cameron himself accepted the link between the two when he met with the First Minister. Given that Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies made clear to the Finance Committee that the case for a fiscal stimulus, such as increasing capital investment, is stronger now than it was last year, David Cameron now needs to help us get these projects going as soon as possible.

“The Scottish Government is doing what it can with its limited resources but the Shovel Ready money is vital to create more jobs and push the recovery forward.”
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