FSB on Scottish jobs figures

New official jobs figures show Scotland’s employment rate increasing between September and November and the country’s unemployment rate falling slightly between June and August.

Andrew McRae, FSB’s Scotland policy chair said: “These figures show that the furlough scheme, and other government interventions to keep people in jobs, have mostly worked so far. They tell us little about the precarious condition of the economy or the Scottish business community.

“After the financial crash, 9 in ten people moving from unemployment into jobs found work in either a small business or through self-employment. That’s why the Scottish Government must radically expand schemes to help small businesses upskill their workers and recruit new staff.

“This week’s Scottish Government budget is a litmus test for Ministers’ pledge to rebuild the economy. If thousands of small firms fail in the months before widespread vaccine roll-out, it’ll be a tragedy not only for the business-owners but also for local labour markets.

“That’s why we need to see the Finance Secretary get the grants system delivering comprehensive support at scale and taking action to push overheads down for local and independent firms. New digital and mental health support for smaller operators would also help smaller businesses rebound after this crisis.”