Last week, the Office for National Statistics confirmed that Scotland’s jobless rate fell to 3.8 per cent in the period March to May, having stood at 4.5 per cent in the previous quarter.

These figures puts Scotland’s unemployment rate substantially lower than the UK average which currently stands at 4.5 per cent.

We are seeing an improving picture across Scotland – the number of people in employment is rising and unemployment is at historic lows and the latest GDP figures show the economy is growing, with Scotland’s growth rate over the last quarter was four times that of the UK.

We have lots to be confident about. The SNP Scottish Government’s £6billion infrastructure plan, £500million Scottish Growth Scheme and record investment in Modern Apprenticeships and education will continue to support the local and national economy.

The Scottish Government is committed to building on these promising figures and we recognise that work still needs to be done to keep the Scottish economy on this strong footing.

The SNP has a plan to grow our economy – this will involve supporting employment through its biggest threat which is the effect of a hard Brexit which could cost our economy up to £11bn a year from 2030, and 80,000 jobs.

The fall in Sterling since the referendum is already pushing up prices and squeezing household incomes. This, accompanied by relentless Tory austerity, means we cannot be complacent.

One driver of Low of increasing inequality is low pay which is why I welcome new figures from the Scottish Parliament’s Information Centre (SPICe) show that SNP plans for a real Living Wage would see almost half a million Scots earning around £5,000 more by 2022.

Scotland already has the highest proportion of workers paid the Living Wage of any country in the UK and we have 845 employers now signed up on a voluntary basis to giving their workers a real Living Wage.

However over the next five years we want to see real change across the whole of the UK – moving to a real Living Wage for everyone, increasing wages to over £10 per hour by 2022 which would mean a £5,000 boost to pay packets for half a million people in Scotland.

This is just another part of the SNP’s vision to improve the lives of people in Scotland, improve productivity in the workplace and lift Scotland’s economy.

July is Scams Awareness Month. This annual campaign is organised by Citizens Advice in partnership with Trading Standards and private businesses, reached over a million Scots last year.

I know many people locally have fallen foul of scams- particularly over the telephone. Unfortunately, it is often the most vulnerable in society who fall victim.

For those affected, scams are not a minor inconvenience: they cause distress and misery, and can ruin lives.

Falling victim to scams is avoidable if you have the right knowledge and this campaign will help raise awareness about how members of the public can protect themselves and those in their families and communities who are less able to spot scams.

I'd encourage people to contact their local Citizen Advice Bureau if they have any personal concerns about phone scams and if you are worried about someone you know, please reach out to them as you may prevent them falling victim to a scam.