Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that Scotland’s unemployment rate is 3.4% which is the lowest on record and below that of the UK as a whole at 3.9%. Furthermore, the number of people employed in Scotland is close to the recent record high at 2,676,000. Although, Scotland’s employment rate, at 75.3%, remains below the UK’s rate at 76.1%.In response to today’s [19 March 2019] labour market statistics figures Scottish Secretary David Mundell said:“It is great news that employment continues to rise in Scotland.“Scotland’s two governments are working together to strengthen our economy and create jobs, with initiatives such as our growth deal programme beginning to reap rewards. In the last few weeks we have co-signed the £250 million Ayrshire growth deal and announced £345 million in joint government funding for the Borderlands.“The UK Government’s investment in growth deals in Scotland is now more than £1.35 billion, and shows our huge commitment to growing Scotland’s job sector.”For the three months to January, Scotland’s overall labour market provides a mainly positive picture: employment increased robustly (+13,000); unemployment fell moderately (-9,000) and activity has increased slightly (+4,000). However, monthly claimant count numbers are worsening over the month of February, as there are 105,700 people in Scotland claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance and out-of-work Universal Credit (seasonally adjusted); this is up 6,600 on the month of January (provisional) and 18,900 up on the year before.