The Fraser of Allander Institute has today published its latest Scottish Labour Market Trends report.
Some excerpts from the report summary:
Despite apparently very little growth in the overall economy, Scotland’s labour market continues to hold up remarkably well.
Over the year to the 3-months January to March 2017, unemployment in Scotland fell 48,000 whilst employment levels rose 41,000.
The current rates of employment and unemployment are close to the best on record.
Levels of underemployment—that is people in work but who would prefer to work longer hours—have also fallen back towards pre-recession levels.
Scotland’s youth unemployment rate continues to outperform all other parts of the UK and compares favourably internationally.
…since the financial crisis there has been a rise in part-time employment (up around 9% since 2007). Within the part-time figures, there has been a 60% increase in the number of people who say the reason they are working part-time is that they cannot find a full-time job.
…nearly [three quarters] of the growth in Scottish employment over the last year was in the form of self-employment.
…there has been a further rise in economic inactivity—that is people not actively seeking work—of 15,000 over the last year.
In 2016, productivity as measured by output per hour worked in Scotland fell 1.5%.
Weak productivity levels will make it difficult for businesses to find new resources to support sustained wage increases.
The FAI also notes in its analysis that “the lack of growth in the wider economy—coupled with rising inflation—means that there is little prospect of a sustained improvement in people’s take-home pay.”