Labour Market Update

This blog summarises some of the key insights from the data released this morning.

Today’s labour market data for Scotland show a slight increase in the unemployment rate this quarter of 0.1% points to 4%, although the unemployment rate is still down 0.8% points over the year. Further, while the employment rate is unchanged over the past quarter, it has grown by 1.6% points over the last year.

These data and changes over the past year and quarter are summarised in the table below for different parts of the UK (green shading indicates an improvement for that measure and red shading a worsening of performance on that measure). Scotland continues to have an employment rate above the average for the UK, and an unemployment rate below the average for the UK.

Continue reading “Labour Market Update”

How are Scottish earnings performing relative to the UK?

In recent months we have seen relatively strong headline labour market indicators in both Scotland and the UK.

But this only tells part of the story. The types of jobs being created, the levels of security and prospects they provide, and crucially the earnings received are just as important.

UK data has shown that the strong growth in employment has been accompanied by a squeeze in real earnings.

Data on earnings for Scotland is much harder to come by. But this week we had the latest Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) publication which gives some insight into earnings in Scotland.

This blog summarises the headline results for April 2017 and what they could be telling us about the health of the Scottish labour market.

Continue reading “How are Scottish earnings performing relative to the UK?”

Today’s Labour Market Statistics – also a note on interpreting the data

Today saw the release of fresh data on the Scottish labour market from the ONS which (mostly!) cover data up to June 2017. Some additional data only cover the period up to March 2017.The main data can be accessed here.

In this blog, we pull out and highlight the key trends in these data.

Essentially, headline indicators of Scotland’s labour market remain good, but we need to bear in mind that, as always, the health of Scotland’s labour market is more complicated than headline numbers.

Continue reading “Today’s Labour Market Statistics – also a note on interpreting the data”

Today’s labour market statistics: back to 2008?

The unemployment rate among the working age population in Scotland fell to 3.9% in the three months from March to May, the lowest unemployment rate since comparable records began.

In headline terms, the Scottish labour market today looks broadly similar to the same quarter in 2008, as the UK was entering recession (although in 2008 the employment rate was slightly higher and inactivity rate slightly lower than it is today).

The proportion of the employed who work part-time is almost back at pre-recession levels (the part-time employed accounted for 25% of total employment in 2008, rising to 28% during the recession, but now back to 26%).

Working age labour market statistics, Scotland
 

Employment rate

Unemployment rate

Inactivity rate

March – May 2008

74.6

4.0

22.3

March – May 2017

74.1

3.9

22.9

But underneath these headline figures, substantial changes in the composition of the Scottish labour market are observed.

Continue reading “Today’s labour market statistics: back to 2008?”

Gender and Scotland’s labour market

Mhairi Love is a third year undergraduate economics student at the University of Strathclyde and is participating in a summer internship in the Fraser of Allander Institute supported by the Carnegie Trust. Mhairi’s research interests are in inclusive growth, labour economics and the Scottish economy. This blog is one of a series of articles Mhairi will publish over the summer summarising her research.


Boosting female participation in the Scottish labour market has been a key policy priority for successive governments over a number of years. Considerable progress has been made, but there remains much work still to be done if Scotland (and the UK) are to match the performance of some of the best performing counties on labour market gender equality (principally, the Scandinavian countries).

This blog summarises recent trends in the gender breakdown in Scotland’s labour force.

Continue reading “Gender and Scotland’s labour market”