Unemployment in Scotland fell by 25,000 in the period June to August 2016, and now stands at 127,000, according to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data.
The Scottish unemployment rate now sits at 4.6 per cent, and is below the UK average of 4.9 per cent. However, the labour market statistics show that employment in Scotland fell by 8,000 over the three months to August 2016. The number of those in employment in Scotland now stands at 2,618,000.
The Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell, said:
“I am pleased to see unemployment falling again in Scotland, and it is now at its lowest level since 2008. But it is worrying that employment is down and more people are dropping out of the labour market in Scotland when the rest of the UK is seeing employment up.
“The levers to shape the Scottish economy are there for the Scottish government to pull. They need to start focusing on the day job and how they can use their new powers to support the Scottish economy.
“Because these are not just statistics – behind the fall in employment and rise in economic inactivity are thousands of people in Scotland who deserve the security and opportunity that a job brings.”
Liz Cameron, chief executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said the Scottish government needed to invest in skills to raise productivity.
She said: "These latest figures present a mixed picture of the Scottish economy. The large fall in unemployment is good news but overall levels of employment in Scotland have fallen, economic inactivity is rising, as has the number of those claiming benefits.
"Against a background of Scottish economic growth which has lagged below overall UK growth levels since April 2015, it is clear that challenges remain to be addressed, including the need to grow Scotland's productivity, which remains low by international standards."