THE number of Scots in work has fallen by 43,000 to 2,643,000, official figures have revealed.

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed the number of Scots without a job increased by 8.3% during the quarter July to September. Over the same period, the employment total for the UK as whole fell by 58,000, the sharpest decline for more than four years.

Unemployment in Scotland was recorded at 110,000, an increase of 8000 on the previous three months. Among the working age population – those aged 16 to 64 – the employment rate fell from 75.4% to 74.4%.

The unemployment rate in Scotland is now 4%, compared with 3.8% for the UK as a whole.

Male unemployment in Scotland fell slightly, going from 62,000 from April to June to 60,000 in July to September. But the data showed a large rise in the number of women out of work, with this figure increasing from 39,000 to 50,000.

Business Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “These statistics signal that Brexit uncertainty is continuing to negatively impact employment in Scotland. The Scottish Government will continue to do all it can to stimulate growth, jobs and investment through the policies set out in our Economic Action Plan and Prepare for Brexit campaign.

“These policies are designed

to help build economic resilience

by offering grants and advice

to support businesses to face

the challenges ahead.”

Hepburn added: “As set out in the Programme for Government, we will continue to make Scotland’s workplaces fairer through our actions to reduce the disability employment gap, tackle the gender pay gap and demonstrate leadership in tackling race inequality in employment.

“Our Future Skills Action Plan supports this ambition and will help ensure Scotland has a skilled and productive workforce which is resilient to future economic challenges.”