Employment in Scotland reached a record level towards the end of 2015, according to the latest figures from the UK Office of National Statistics.
The number of Scots in employment increased by 21,000 to 2,631,000 in the last quarter, representing an employment rate of 74.9% - the highest in the UK.
Unemployment also fell by 19,000 in the quarter to 152,000 Scots out of work, including those not eligible for benefits.
Kenneth Gibson MSP welcomed the news:
“Employment has continued to rise and unemployment to fall – with more Scots in work than ever before.
“Youth employment figures continue to be strong, out-performing the UK.
“However, the SNP Government is not complacent and recognises that a number of significant challenges remain beneath these encouraging headline figures, exacerbated by the continuing low price of oil and the effect this is having on the industry and its supply chain.
“Nevertheless, these figures indicate strong resilience within the Scottish economy and we will continue to channel every power at our disposal into promoting inclusive economic growth and fair work, increasing employment, lowering unemployment and removing any remaining barriers to the jobs market.”