Dundee East MP Stewart Hosie commented today as new official figures showed that the unemployment rate in Dundee East at 5.7% is lower than in February and lower than this time last year. It also compares favourably with the Scottish average of 7.3% and the UK average of 7.9%.
The Scottish Government have also released new figures today which show that Scotland’s growing economy has helped to secure significant increases in employment and reduction in unemployment.
Employment in Scotland rose by 39,000 or 1% in the first quarter of 2013, the largest increase since 2000, taking the headline employment rate 71.7% which is higher than the UK rate of 71.4%.
Progress on tackling youth unemployment also continued, with the rate of youth unemployment now down 6.8% in the past year. Scotland’s youth unemployment rate of 16.1% compares to a higher UK rate of 20.6%, while Scotland’s youth employment rate of 56.7% is higher than the UK’s rate of 49.7%.
Figures also published today show that Scotland’s GDP increased by 0.5% in the quarter from October to December last year, which compares extremely favourably to the performance of the UK economy during the same period where GDP reduced by 0.3%.
Commenting on both sets of figures, Stewart Hosie said: “Obviously, these new figures show better news for Scotland and Dundee and that we are moving in the right direction.
“Unemployment is still the main issue which the Scottish and Westminster Governments deal with and it is a tragedy for every person who is unemployed.
“The UK Government is in control of the big levers of government including the tax system but the Scottish Government is doing everything it can within its powers to tackle unemployment and has prioritised the issue by appointing the only dedicated Minister for youth employment in the UK — and that action is starting to show results.
“Funding capital projects is the single most effective way in which we can get the economy moving again.
“The Scottish Government and Dundee City Council have brought forward infrastructure projects in Dundee and secured investment to keep the waterfront project moving forward with the V&A and the replacement Olympia, seven new schools and we are funding a record number of apprenticeship places in Dundee.
“We can always do more but I think that most people accept that we are doing the best we can with the powers we have to tackle unemployment and that we have made a difference, moving Dundee forward.”