The latest labour market figures have held to the trend of a strong employment rate, while continuing to illustrate a job market characterised by wages that are failing to keep pace with inflation.
In Scotland specifically, although there has been a quarterly decline in employment, the annual employment rate has increased by 1.7 percentage points, joint-second with the South East.
Scotland has also displayed the second highest annual increase in workforce jobs, by 109,000, with only the West Midlands displayed a higher figure.
Liz Cameron, Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce said:
“For the seventh consecutive month, today’s figures show that wage growth has failed to outpace inflation, with the CPI rate of 3.1%, further biting into household disposable income.
“Vacancies are also now sitting at a record high across the UK, further emphasising the importance of continued investment into training and workforce skills, and the continued need for business to have access to a migration system that enables firms to recruit from outside of the UK when required.
“Although the Scottish employment market continues to show signs of strength, our focus is now on the upcoming Scottish Budget. It is critical that any measures put forward on Thursday recognise the existing pressures on household spending, and that policies targeted at Scottish business, at minimum, ensure a level footing with the rest of the UK.”