Jobs growth in Scotland has lagged behind every single region in the UK since the SNP came into power, according to new analysis of ONS employment figures published by the Scottish Government.
The figures show that since May 2007, employment in Scotland has grown by only 2.7 per cent, less than half the 6.0 per cent growth in the second worst performing areas in the rest of the UK.
Furthermore, employment in Scotland has grown at less than a quarter of the rate in England as a whole, less than a tenth of the rate in London and behind every other English region, Wales and Northern Ireland.
In addition, the SNP has only managed to create 16 jobs per 1,000 people, whilst over the same period there are 33 more jobs per 1,000 people in Wales, 36 in Northern Ireland and 63 in England.
If employment growth in Scotland had matched the UK average over this period, there would be 268,000 more jobs.
The SNP’s own ‘Regional Employment Patterns in Scotland’ shows that the number of people who have never worked has increased by almost 20 per cent over the past decade; increasing to 152,000 in 2017 from 130,900 in 2007.
And the number of people who are economically inactive has increased by 2 per cent over the past decade; increasing to 768,900 in 2017 from 753,800 in 2007.
Commenting Eastwood MSP, Jackson Carlaw said:
“The SNP needs to admit the full picture when it comes to unemployment in Scotland.
“The fact is that the number of people who have never worked in Scotland has increased by almost 20 per cent since the SNP came to power in 2007 and there are now more people who are ‘economically inactive’.
“The SNP is desperate to cover up this worrying trend in Scotland’s employment.
“The SNP’s failure to grow Scotland's economy is an obvious contributor to the increase in economically inactive people.
“It’s time for the SNP to stop its constitutional obsession and get back to the day job.”
East Renfrewshire MP, Paul Masterton added:
“Scotland lagging behind the rest of the United Kingdom in economic growth and employment creation is a huge concern, and caused in no small part by the constant threat of a second independence referendum.
"Business confidence is low, and investment decisions are being put on hold due to the SNP's constitutional obsession.
"The U.K. Government has sought to reduce the tax burden, champion small business and drive forward policies that will improve productivity and create jobs across our United Kingdom.
"The Scottish Government should be following suit, not pursuing a policy agenda which makes Scotland the highest taxed part of the U.K. and an less attractive place to do business.”