Scotland’s labour market could face turbulent time

Ann Frances Cooney (employment law partner at DWF)

NEW labour market data released this morning show that in the 3-month period to the end of September 2022:

  • The Scottish unemployment rate was 3.5%; up +0.3 %-points on the previous 3 months;
  • The Scottish employment rate was 75.3%; down -0.1%-points on the previous 3 months;
  • The Scottish economic inactivity rate was 21.9%; down -0.2%-points on the previous 3 months.

  • Ann Frances Cooney, employment law partner at DWF leading the Scottish employment law practice, has commented on the latest data.

Ann Frances said: “The economy is certainly facing a challenging period with soaring inflation and warnings of the longest recession since records began. The Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, is due to deliver his Autumn Statement on Thursday 17 November and has already warned that tax rises are necessary to help tackle inflation. 

“Against this backdrop it is likely that the labour market will face a relatively turbulent time. Despite the ongoing resilience of the market during the pandemic, it is likely that the economic difficulties will lead to more job losses over the coming months. 

“The labour market has been particularly active in Scotland over recent months with the so called “Great Resignation”, however we may see a decline in the number of people moving jobs in the face of such economic uncertainty.”

The latest labour market figures for Scotland remain relatively stable despite the challenging economy. The headline figures for the period between July and September 2022 show an estimated employment rate of 75.3%, a decrease of 0.1% over the quarter.  By way of comparison Scotland’s estimated employment rate was marginally below the UK rate of 75.5%.  Scotland’s unemployment rate was 3.5%, an increase of 0.3% over the quarter.  Scotland’s unemployment rate was slightly below the UK rate of 3.6%.  

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