The March labour market statistics for Scotland show the number of payrolled employees has grown by 12,000 – an increase of 0.5%.

This is lower than in the UK where the number of payrolled employees rose by 0.7%. Scotland's unemployment rate was 3.5% while the UK rate was 4.2%.

The figures also indicate the median monthly pay for payrolled employees in Scotland was £2,389, an increase of 6.3% compared with March 2023. This is higher than the growth in median monthly pay for the UK over the same period of 5.6%.

READ MORE | Payrolled staff numbers increase in Scotland

Commenting, net zero and energy minister Mairi McAllan said: “The increase of 12,000 in the number of payrolled employees over the year to March 2024 in Scotland is welcome.

“It is also encouraging to note that the median monthly pay for payrolled employees has grown at a faster rate over the year in Scotland than in the UK as a whole – at 6.3% compared with 5.6%.

“However, there are ongoing challenges facing the UK economy including inflationary pressures and the continuing impacts of Brexit.

“The Scottish Government remains committed to using the limited powers of devolution to support more people into work through employability and skills support – and our forthcoming Green Industrial Strategy will support businesses and investors to realise the era-defining economic opportunities of the global transition to net zero and create well-paid green jobs here.

“It is vital businesses have access to labour which meets their needs, and we have launched Scotland’s Migration Service to help attract workers with the skills Scotland requires.

“With full powers of independence Scotland could boost its workforce and tackle recruitment challenges such as those currently being faced by the Construction sector, and allow us to achieve our vision of a fair, green and growing economy which works for everyone who lives here."