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Scottish productivity outperforms the UK

Published: 24 Jan 2016 00:01

Positive trends in Scottish productivity.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney has hailed news that productivity in Scotland outperformed the UK in 2014 and across the period of recession and recovery.

Official statistics published last week show that output per hour worked in Scotland - a measure of how much output the economy produces in each working hour - has grown 4.4 per cent since 2007. That compares to UK growth of 0.2 per cent on its 2007 level.

In 2014, output per hour worked in Scotland increased by 1.3 per cent in real terms, compared to 0.4 per cent for the UK.

Scottish productivity is now catching up significantly with UK levels, increasing from 92.2 per cent of the UK average output per hour in 2007, to 97.6 per cent of the UK average in 2014

Welcoming the statistics, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

"These welcome figures show that Scotland's productivity performance is improving and catching up with UK levels. Output per hour worked grew by 1.3 per cent in real terms during 2014, and Scotland is the only nation or region of the UK to improve its productivity performance relative to the UK average in recent years.

"This follows further evidence of Scotland's growing economic strength, with Scottish employment at record levels, the highest of the four UK nations, and that we are outperforming the UK as a whole. This is supported by welcome and continued falls in unemployment and economic inactivity rates.

"Youth employment is also down to its lowest level since 2006 and record numbers of school leavers are heading to initial positive destinations, supported by our on-going commitment to at least 25,500 Modern Apprenticeships every year – rising to 30,000 by 2020.

"These figures therefore show that we are making real progress towards making Scotland a more productive and competitive country. However, we know more needs to be done as we recognise that a number of challenges remain.

"We remain focused on continuing to improve Scotland's performance in the priority areas of Investment, Innovation, Inclusive Growth and Internationalisation set out in Scotland's Economic Strategy, and we will continue to use every power at our disposal to build on this growth and realise the full productive potential of Scotland."

Notes to editors

Background

The Labour Productivity statistics are available at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Economy/PROD2014

This release reports annual labour productivity estimates for the period 1998-2014 covering total output in the Scottish economy. Labour productivity measures the amount of economic output that is produced, on average, by a unit of labour input (measured in this release in terms of jobs and hours worked) and is an important indicator of economic performance. Results are calculated in both real (inflation adjusted) and normal (current price, not adjusted for inflation) terms.

Output statistics in this release are consistent with the latest Gross Domestic Product (13 January 2016) and Quarterly National Accounts Scotland (4 November 2015). Labour input measures are consistent with results in the latest the ONS NUTS1 results for countries and regions in Labour Productivity 2015 Q3 published on 23 December 2015.