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DWF discusses latest labour market figures in Scotland

Posted: 13th March 2024

The Scottish labour market figures for the period November 2023 to January 2024 indicate that over the quarter the unemployment rate decreased, while the employment rate increased and the inactivity rate decreased – a continued positive trajectory despite the challenging economic climate.

The highlights for the period show the unemployment rate in Scotland was 4.1%, down 0.3% over the quarter.  By way of comparison Scotland’s unemployment rate was above the UK rate of 3.9%.  The employment rate in Scotland was 74.2%, an increase of 0.4% over the quarter but was below the UK rate of 75%.  The economic inactivity rate in Scotland was 22.5%, down 0.2% over the quarter but above the UK rate of 21.8%.  Against a backdrop of a difficult economic climate the latest figures show continued resilience in the Scottish labour market.

Early seasonally adjusted estimates for February 2024 from HMRC Pay as You Earn Real Time Information indicate that median monthly pay for payrolled employees in Scotland was £2,341, an increase of 3.6% compared with February 2023.  Despite the increase however, for many it is not enough to match rising costs.  The battle for talent continues with employers struggling to meet the demands for increased pay.  Employers should not underestimate the importance of workplace culture when attracting and retaining talent.  Although pay is a significant factor, diversity and inclusion, flexibility and creating a genuinely great place to work can all help employers retain a competitive edge in the labour market.

With a general election around the corner we will have to wait and see what policies are drawn up which will undoubtedly impact the labour market.

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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