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Scottish unemployment continues to rise

In line with the trend for the whole of the UK, unemployment in Scotland increased by 7,000 to 212,000 in the three to April 2010, but there are worrying signs for the immediate future. While unemployment in Scotland now stands at around 8%, which is just above the 7.9% figure for the UK as a whole, there are concerns that the Scottish economy is not well placed to benefit from the eventual upturn.

The SNP government recently revealed that planned budget cuts in Scotland will be shelved for 12 months in order to give the economy the best chance of recovery in the short-term. As a consequence, unless we see a significant improvement in not only the UK economy but the Scottish economy, we could be in for a very difficult time in the 2011/12 fiscal year. In simple terms, the decision to delay implementation of budget cuts until next year will effectively see two rounds of budget cuts introduced in the same 12 month period.

While talk of Scottish independence has fallen by the wayside over the last few months there is growing concern that the SNP is still looking to put together a referendum on the subject. Against this backdrop, and taking into account the economic difficulties at the moment, this is not the best scenario for businesses and business leaders to contemplate further investment in Scotland.

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