SCOTLAND has documented record low unemployment rates, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

While the overall rate of unemployment across the UK remained static at 3.7%, in Scotland it fell 0.2% in the three months to January 2023 to 3.1% - beating the previous record of 3.2% noted in March 2019.

READ MORE: SNP candidates say they'll work with Labour in exchange for indyref2

The lowest unemployment rate across the UK for this quarter was in the South West of England at 2.3% but Scotland, the North East (4.1%) and Yorkshire and The Humber (3.2%) all showed joint record lows for their respective regions.

The latest figures show Scotland’s employment rate for those aged 16 to 64 years is at 76.5%.

This is a slight increase of 0.5% on the previous quarter (August to October 2022), and 2% more than in the same period last year.

It is, however, a small decrease on the final three months of 2022 when the employment rate stood at 76.6%, which was the highest recorded since the labour force survey series began in 1992.

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.

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak says Aukus nuclear submarines deal will 'keep oceans free'

“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.”

Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics at the Office for National Statistics, said: “Recent trends have continued, with a slight rise in employment, especially among part-timers.

“Detailed figures from our business surveys also show record numbers of jobs in several sectors, including law and accountancy firms, health, and pubs and restaurants.

“In addition, the number of people neither working nor looking for a job fell overall, driven by a drop in young people.

“However, a record number of people were completely outside the labour market due to long-term sickness.

READ MORE: UK's vile Illegal Migration Bill passes Commons hurdle

“Although the inflation rate has come down a little, it’s still outstripping earnings growth, meaning real pay continues to fall.”

It comes before chancellor Jeremy Hunt unveils his budget tomorrow.

He said: “The jobs market remains strong, but inflation remains too high.

“To help people’s wages go further, we need to stick to our plan to halve inflation this year.

“Tomorrow at the budget, I will set out how we will go further to bear down on inflation, reduce debt and grow the economy, including by helping more people back into work.”