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Youth unemployment in Scotland falls to six-year low – but through what kind of jobs?

by on October 23, 2014

As reported here in the Daily Record, data from the Office for National Statistics suggests that youth unemployment in Scotland has fallen by 5.6 percentage points in the last year. We have previously blogged about Scotland’s particular focus on youth employment, with a minister with specific responsibility in this area, to the extent of a distinct political commentary about the difference in policies in comparison with the rest of the UK.

The ONS data shows that the number of 16 to 24-year-olds who are unemployed dropped by 29,000 to 72,000 (for the period June to August 2014) which is the lowest level recorded since 2008.

So whilst this is good news, do we have any information about the kind of jobs or other measures that have contributed to this reduction? It seems pertinent to ask given the other stories we’ve covered this week on low pay and marginal work.

In The Courier, Scottish Labour MSP Jenny Marra raised the same point: “It is important that we look beyond the headline figures and ensure that we have a job market that creates stable, well paid and full time jobs for our young workforce. The Scottish Government must ensure that the jobs being created pay the living wage and are not insecure, part time, or zero-hour contracts”. Now, there’s undoubtedly a party political message going on in her statement but it would be interesting to dig a bit deeper to see what’s happening.

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