World Economy

Scottish Productivity Outperforms UK

Scottish Productivity Outperforms UKScottish Productivity Outperforms UK

Scotland’s 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% since 2007. That compares to UK growth of 0.2% on its 2007 level, NewsNow reported.

In 2014, output per hour worked in Scotland increased by 1.3% in real terms, compared to 0.4% for the UK. Scottish productivity is now catching up significantly with UK levels, increasing from 92.2% of the UK average output per hour in 2007, to 97.6% of the UK average in 2014.

Welcoming the statistics, 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% 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 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 recognize that a number of challenges remain,” Swinney said.