Scotland has a mixed economy closely interlinked with the rest of the United Kingdom (UK) and with the European Union more widely. Its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, which stood at £16,944 in 2005, is the 4th highest of the regions and countries of the UK, after London, South East England and Eastern England. Its annual economic growth in 2006 was 2.2%. The main factors contributing to the Scottish economy are Energy, Whiskey and financial services. The unemployment in Scotland is harming the economy in ways which and not remedied easily. The Scottish unemployment rate is now 8.5%, which is higher than the UK average of 8.3%. Total UK unemployment rose by 128,000 to 2.64 million. Meanwhile, separate figures showed private sector employment rose year-on-year by 30,300 in Scotland in the third quarter, outweighing a fall of 23,500 in public sector jobs over the same period. The private sector, including all financial institutions, now accounts for 77.7% of Scottish employment - the highest share since devolution. The rise in unemployment figures prompted First Minister Alex Salmond to call for an urgent UK-wide summit involving finance ministers from the UK government and three devolved administrations, to agree an immediate programme of jobs creation. He said: "The UK government's economic policy is in a state of collapse, and the prime minister's policy of isolation in Europe can only makes things worse. Whisky. Whisky is probably the best known of Scotland's manufactured exports contributing around £800 million to the Scottish economy, supporting 41,000 jobs as well as adding £2 billion to the balance of trade making it one of the UK’s top five manufacturing export earners. The Whisky industry also generates a substantial income for the government with around £1.6bn raised in duty each year. The principal whisky producing areas include Speyside and the island of Islay where there are 8 distilleries providing a...
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