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Ageing industries

Kromydas, Theocharis and Lockyer, Cliff and Wright, Robert (2012) Ageing industries. Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary, 36 (1). pp. 89-94. ISSN 2046-5378

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This paper uses micro-data from four years of the Labour Force Survey (1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010) to examine the relationship between employment share and age structure across Scottish industries. Over the three decades, there has been a considerable shift in employment away from manufacturing industries to services industries. It is less well known that there are large differences in the age structure of employment between industries. There is some evidence from other countries that growing industries attract younger workers while declining industries keep older workers. If this is true, then the processes of labour force ageing and employment decline reinforce each other resulting in large and likely problematic age structure differences in certain industries. The analysis presented it this preliminary paper generates some evidence consistent with this view. The analysis also brings into some doubt the longer-term sustainability of the agriculture and fishing industry given the very top heavy nature of its age structure of employment.