Scotland has seen a new record-low unemployment rate, according to the latest figures. 

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed 3.1% of people north of the border aged 16 and over were out of work from November 2022 to January this year.

This was down 0.2% on the previous three-month period from August to October last year, and down 0.7% on the year before.

However, the unemployment rate across Britain remained unchanged at 3.7% in the three months to January.

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The latest figures show Scotland’s employment rate for those aged 16 to 64 years is at 76.5%, seeing a rise of 0.5% on the previous quarter.

It is, however, a small decrease on the final three months of 2022 when the employment rate stood at the highest on record at 76.6%.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the Scottish figures were "formidable". 

He wrote on Twitter: "Formidable employment data in Scotland today; employment 76.5% (2nd highest ever), unemployment 3.1% (joint lowest), economic inactivity 21% (down 1.4% in a year).

"Scotland outperforms UK on all indicators."

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Commenting on the latest statistics, Scotland’s Employment Minister Richard Lochhead said: “The low unemployment rate across Scotland and close to record high employment rates for all 16 to 64-year-olds are welcome but certain industries still face recruitment challenges.

“The Scottish Government is delivering on the National Strategy for Economic Transformation to create a fairer, wealthier and greener country, while ensuring everyone can thrive in a diverse and inclusive workforce.

“The UK Government holds key powers over parts of employment law and has refused to devolve powers on migration, which could boost Scotland’s workforce and tackle the recruitment challenges, many of which have been caused by the end of free movement and the hard Brexit imposed on Scotland by the UK Government.

“I have repeatedly called on UK ministers to establish a joint taskforce on labour market shortages. An urgent rethink of UK Government immigration policy is needed so there is increased access to the international labour and skills that Scotland needs for our economy and communities to flourish.”