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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-09702: Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 15 June 2017

To ask the Scottish Government for what reason the economic inactivity rate is reportedly higher than that for the rest of the UK.

Answered by: Jamie Hepburn 27 June 2017

Data from the ONS’ Labour Force Survey for the most recent quarter (February to April 2017) was published on 14 June 2017. This shows that the economic inactivity rate in Scotland during this period was 22.7 per cent. The economic inactivity rate for the UK over the same period was 21.5 per cent.

The most recent data available on reason for inactivity from the ONS’ Labour Force Survey, covering January to March 2017, indicates that less than a third (30.0 per cent) of those aged 16-64 who were economically inactive were sick or disabled, whilst over a quarter (27.4 per cent) were students. This differs from the UK where the highest group for economically inactive were students (27.5%) with just less than a quarter of economically inactive people in the UK being sick or disabled (24.1%).

Over the year to January to March 2017, in Scotland, the largest increases in inactivity were seen in the proportion of people citing that they were a student (increased by 2.3 percentage points, up 22,000) and citing they were retired (increased by 2.1 percentage points, up 18,000). Those citing they were inactive due to being sick or disabled increased by 0.1 percentage points, up 5,000.