Regional unemployment in Scotland

Bell, David N. F. (1975) Regional unemployment in Scotland. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 1 (2). pp. 21-37. ISSN 0306-7866

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One of the primary aims of the Eraser of Allander Institute is to try to form a detailed and consistent view of the structure of the Scottish economy. Disaggregation is an essential prerequisite to an appreciation of the diverse character of the Scottish economy. This article explores Scotland's first 'tier' of disaggregation under the new regional authority structure. Estimates of the numbers of employees in employment in the new regions for the period 1964 to 1973 have been made by the Department of Employment. These employment statistics provide one viewpoint from which can be formed a picture of the differing industrial structures in the regions, and the changes which have taken place in patterns of industrial activity over this period. The outstanding feature is the decline in employment in the Strathclyde region. Approximately 92,000 jobs have been lost there during this 10 year period. Nearly half of this decline has occurred in manufacturing industry. In contrast the Grampian and Highland regions have increased employment between 1964 and 1973. Their gains are concentrated in the manufacturing and service sectors. Although the employment figures for these regions support the view that the centre of economic activity in Scotland is moving north and east the figures for the other regions exhibit no clear spatial pattern. Fife gained approximately 4000 jobs between 1964 and 1973, while Tayside lost over 10,000. The Central region marginally increased its workforce, but around 17,000 jobs disappeared from the Lothians. The Borders lost over 1000 jobs but little net change was experienced in Dumfries and Galloway.