Michael Matheson has welcomed figures that show a drop in unemployment in Falkirk district – as levels across Scotland have fallen to a record low.

Scotland’s unemployment rate for October to December 2018 fell to 3.5%, Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show. That’s the lowest rate ever recorded and better than the UK-wide rate of 4%

Meanwhile, analysis by the ONS estimates that the unemployment rate in the Falkirk Council area was 3.9% for the period between October 2017 and September 2018, down from 4.6% the year before.

Falkirk West MSP Mr Matheson said: “These figures are welcome evidence that the Scottish economy and jobs market continue to strengthen – and it’s heartening to see that there has been a significant drop in local unemployment figures.

“However, Brexit continues to pose a threat to jobs in Falkirk district and across Scotland and many local employers will understandably be concerned at the complete lack of clarity about what terms the UK is set to leave the EU on.

“The Scottish Government is offering stability and certainty through our budget, which supports jobs and business. The UK Government must do the same by ruling out a no-deal Brexit, which would be economically disastrous.

“It’s also important that we ensure that people in work are paid a fair wage. I’m proud that Scotland already has the highest proportion of workers who are paid at or above the Living Wage of £9 an hour of any country in the UK. But I will keep campaigning to encourage more employers to sign up to the Living Wage pledge.”