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Employment expert comments on Scotland labour market stats – Scottish Business News

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ANN Frances Cooney, employment partner at DWF, has reacted to the latest labour market figures in Scotland:

“The Scottish Labour Market Figures for the period February to April 2024 indicate that over the quarter the unemployment rate increased, the employment rate decreased and the inactivity rate increased.  The cooling of the labour market is perhaps to be expected against a backdrop of a difficult economic climate.  The headline figures show that unemployment in Scotland was 4.7%, up 0.4% over the quarter.  By way of comparison, Scotland’s unemployment rate was above the UK rate of 4.4%.   The employment rate in Scotland was 73.1%, down 1.3% over the quarter.  Scotland’s employment rate was below the UK rate of 74.3%. 

Early seasonally adjusted estimates for May 2024 from HMRC Pay As You Earn Real Time Information indicate that median monthly pay for payrolled employees in Scotland was £2,411, an increase of 5.8% compared with May 2023.  This is higher than the growth in median monthly pay for the UK over the same period.  Employees have consistently demonstrated that they are prepared to move jobs for higher salaries.  Employers are doing their best to stem the flow of lost talent by increasing pay where they can.  

With the General Election less than a month away, we can expect further change in the labour market.  With opinion polls predicting a change in government, employers are likely to act with a degree of caution when recruiting – particularly with unfair dismissal set to be a day one right should Labour win the election.  Labour has pledged to bring in a raft of enhanced and new employment protections.  With political uncertainty and change on the horizon we may well see the labour market slow whilst employers adapt to the changes.” 

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