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Scottish Chambers of Commerce comment on Labour Market Figures

Posted: 19th October 2017

The Scottish Chambers of Commerce welcomes the release of the latest labour market figures, which show that the UK unemployment rate has continued to hold at the lowest level observed since 1975.

Figures for Scotland continue to be positive, with Scotland holding to or exceeding the UK average.

The estimates released today for Scotland provide a more moderate picture of jobs growth as those estimated in the previous labour market figures, but Scotland continues to display the largest increase in the employment rate outside of London.

Liz Cameron, CEO, Scottish Chambers of Commerce said:

“Today’s Labour Market figures continue to illustrate the effects of high inflation, with real wages lagging the inflation rate for several months. As several commentators have observed, there is potential for this wage squeeze to continue, with inflation predicted to peak at 3.1%.

“With inflation continuing to rise, and many industry sectors observing pay growth below 2%, the Bank of England must hold their nerve on interest rates. An increase at this point would damage consumer confidence and spending at a critical period for the retail sector.

“It is essential that the Chancellor recognises these conditions in the upcoming budget. The budget must seek to increase business investment in skills and tackle our productivity gap with a range of measures, ensuring that wages increase and that consumer spending continues to act as one of the UK economy’s key drivers.”

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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