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SCC Comment on Labour Market Statistics

Chamber News, Member News 12th June 2019

Dr Liz Cameron OBE, Director and Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:

Once again employment in Scotland has reached another historic high and unemployment a record low. For so many households this is welcome, particularly for women who are increasing their participation in Scotland’s workforce while many are measuring the benefit of rising wages.

However, for employers the struggle to attract talented workers is real and getting even more competitive.

These figures may seem to fly in the face of measures released as recently as the start of the week which indicate that Brexit uncertainty is having a worse than expected impact on the Scottish and UK economy. Thankfully this is not hurting jobs at this point. What we are seeing is that as companies dampen down on capital investment, employers are focusing instead on operational costs such as wages.

What we really need now is for the Scottish Government to double down in its support for skills. A highly-trained workforce with the skills to compete in the 21st century will help to insulate employment levels in the face of any shocks, as well as prepare us for whatever happens post-Brexit. We also need to ensure that, after we leave Europe, Scotland benefits from an immigration policy that meets the need of our economy by ensuring we retain access to valuable international talent.

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