Figures recently released show that Scotland now has a higher employment rate, lower rate of unemployment and overall lower economic inactivity than the United Kingdom as a whole. The three month period between December 2011 and February 2012 show that in contrast to the rest of the UK and most of Europe, unemployment in Scotland is falling.
First Minister Alex Salmond said “That while there were now positive indications in the Scottish economy, there could be no room for complacency.”
For the seventeenth consecutive month the employment rate has remained higher than the rest of the UK according to labour market statistics. This can perhaps be put down to the strength of the Scottish Government’s recovery plan and it’s investments in job creation and training, in stark contrast to the fast and hard cuts being dealt by the conservative lead coalition government in Westminster.
This is the biggest fall in unemployment in Scotland for over a year. Scotland’s GDP performance in the fourth quarter of 2011 was also better than the 0.3 per cent decline in the UK and the Eurozone,with a significant contribution from Scotland’s energy sector.
The actions of the Scottish Government and the agencies look to be paying dividends with very positive announcements made recently.
But what is needed to now to propel recovery forward is an injection of increased capital which the government would have to look for from the Coalition down south.
As the figures demonstrate, there are positive indications in the Scottish economy but more capital spending seems vital to keep pushing jobs and recovery forward. With the full economic and financial powers of independence more could be done but in the meantime the UK Government should be helping, rather than hindering, the process of recovery.