ANN Frances Cooney, partner and employment expert at DWF in Scotland, has commented on December’s Scotland Labour Market figures.
“During the period August to October 2023 Scotland’s labour market showed continued resilience despite the economic climate. The unemployment rate decreased slightly, while the employment rate increased slightly and the inactivity rate stayed the same. The headlines for the period show the adjusted experimental unemployment rate for Scotland was 3.8%, down 0.1% over the quarter. By way of comparison Scotland’s unemployment rate was below the UK rate of 4.2%. The adjusted experimental employment rate in Scotland was 74.3%, up 0.1% over the quarter. Scotland’s employment rate was below the UK rate of 75.7%.
Early seasonally adjusted estimates for November 2023 from HMRC Pay As You Earn Real Time Information indicate that median monthly pay for payrolled employees in Scotland was £2,334, up 4.4% compared to November 2022. The Low Pay Commission has announced that the recommended rates for the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage have been accepted. The National Living Wage will rise from £10.42 to £11.44 per hour and the age threshold will be lowered to 21. This pay increase will put an added squeeze on employers who are already battling other rising costs. It will be important for employers which pay the minimum wage or close to the minimum wage to carry out an audit and calculate the increased cost of the new rates. “