Scottish Chambers of Commerce comment on Labour Market Figures

24th January 2018

Labour market figures for the three months ending November 2017 have seen a number of national records broken. The number of full time employees now stands at a record high of 20.25 million, with the overall employment rate remaining at 75.3%. In less positive news, the number of vacancies has risen to 810,000, the highest figure recorded since comparable records began 2001.

Examining the regional labour market data, Scotland’s employment rate has actually fallen by 0.2 percentage points across the September – November 2017 period. Workers in Scotland have also seen an increase in average hours worked, by 0.4 hours (1.2%) over the last year.

Liz Cameron, Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce said:

“It remains encouraging that the UK’s labour market is showing considerable signs of strength, with more full time workers in post than ever before.

“However, as was reinforced by our most recent quarterly economic survey, many industries are continuing to post vacancy levels at record highs. This continues to suggest that skills shortages are holding back growth across the Scottish and UK economy.

“Business and government, both at a Scottish and UK level, must work together to address the skills gap. An important enabler of access to skilled workers is migration and a pragmatic approach to future immigration policy must be front of mind amongst negotiators and politicians, ensuring business growth is not held back.”

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