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SCC COMMENT ON LABOUR MARKET FIGURES
16th August 2017
Commenting on the news that Scottish employment rose by 30,000 (1.1%) and unemployment fell by 12,000 (0.5%) in the three months to June, Liz Cameron, Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:
The overall employment figures remain strong, with a new record high employment rate of 75.2% and an unemployment rate of 3.9%. At a time of heightened political and economic uncertainty, the labour market figures are encouraging, showing the commitment and resilience of business to hire and invest in their workforce.
Although the overall employment rate of 75.2% is the highest since Scottish records began, there are some continued challenges. Strong labour market figures are still not translating into increased productivity or the sort of wage growth that we would normally be seeing with fewer people out of work. This persistent lack of increased productivity and wage growth will add further pressure on consumer demand, business margins and future business investment.
Additionally, Scotland's economic inactivity rate remains unchanged from the same period last year, adding further impetus to business and Government to invest in training and upskilling opportunities as a way of encouraging individuals to re-join the workforce. It also reinforces the need for Scottish business to have continued access to a skilled workforce from the EU and beyond as negotiations take shape between the UK and the European Union