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Posted by on in Gender Discrimination
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Scottish Employment at Record High

New figures from the Office of National Statistics have revealed that Scottish employment is at a record high with 21,000 more Scots in work than in the previous quarter.

Of the four nations in the UK, Scotland had the highest percentage of people in work and the lowest unemployment rate. As well as this, the employment rate in the country is higher than prior to the recession for the first time since 2007.

Scotland's Fair Work Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: "I am very pleased to note this month's figures, which reinforce the positive longer-term trends in Scotland's labour market, notwithstanding recent and ongoing volatility with Labour Market Statistics."

She added: "Employment has continued to rise and unemployment to fall - with more Scots in work than ever before. Youth employment figures continue to be strong, outperforming the UK statistics.

Female Employment Figures

Despite the positives regarding employment in the country, some noted that the main rise in employment had came from male workers rather than across the board. Men accounted for the biggest rise in the number of employed and most of the fall in unemployment.

A committee found that there had been a decline in overall job quality in Scotland and an increase in low paid or zero-hour contract roles. Others expressed concern regarding the standard of job and the lack of females in employment.

Scottish Trades Union Congress general secretary Grahame Smith said: "There is no doubt that today's figures are very positive with a significant increase in employment and a similar fall in unemployment.

"However, once again, men account for all the growth in jobs and most of the fall in unemployment.

"Given that there's no plausible explanation for the rapidly deteriorating relative position of women in the Scottish labour market, the STUC is concerned at the quality of the gender disaggregated statistics and would encourage ONS to reassess its processes in this respect."

Ethnic Minority: Issues When Seeking Employment

While there is no doubt that the increase in employment and a decline in those seeking a job is positive, the news coincided with a report which found that minorities face “significant barriers” when it comes to obtaining a job.

A report from a group of MSPs found that ethnic minorities faced a number of obstacles when trying to get a job with the report finding that many were held back by a result of discrimination.

Following the statistics, Holyrood's Equal Opportunities Committee has urged the Scottish Government to set targets and tackle "defective" employment and recruitment practices.

The committee's report said: "We heard of the significant barriers facing people from ethnic minorities in gaining employment and developing a career.

"The evidence indicated a situation that is not acceptable and we were extremely concerned to hear of how discrimination and lack of access to opportunities are holding back many talented and committed individuals.

"To tackle discrimination and promote diversity in Scotland the Scottish Government must recognise the recommendations in our report. It should therefore give greater priority to the issue and target appropriately a range of resources."

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