From the Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI) and Scottish Centre for Employment Research (SCER)
The latest FAI/SCER Labour Market Trends report summarises recent developments in the Scottish labour market.
Overall, the Scottish labour market continues to hold up relatively well despite Scotland’s economy growing much more slowly than the UK as a whole. That being said, employment has slipped back over the year and the continued rise in economic inactivity remains a source of concern.
In the report, we also discuss the uncertainty that surrounds the labour market statistics for Scotland.
The width of confidence intervals around the headline estimates are large, making any interpretation of key trends and developments a challenge. The current best estimate of unemployment levels in Scotland of 135,000 has range of uncertainty (at the 95% level) of 22,000. If government are serious about understanding long-term labour market issues and devising appropriate policy responses then it is vital that the quality of the statistics be improved.
The two featured articles in this month’s report examine the recent rise in inactivity in Scotland with a focus upon what types of inactivity and age groups are driving the increase and the resilience of local authority areas in Scotland to recession. In this second report, we compare employment levels in Scotland’s local authorities now with where they were back when Scotland was at its peak prior to the 2008 financial crisis. We find that based on the most recent data around half of Scottish local authority areas have not made up the jobs lost over this period.