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Population, employment and labour force projections

Bell, David N. F. and Kirwan, Frank X. (1977) Population, employment and labour force projections. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 3 (1). pp. 38-54. ISSN 0306-7866

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The population of Scotland evolves over time under the combined influence of births, deaths and migration. Given appropriate assumptions about these three factors, population forecasts may be generated and analysed. Such forecasts are published annually in Scotland by the Office of the Registrar General. (1976a). These forecasts may be converted into an estimate of labour supply by scaling by the participation rates of the various age-sex groups. Such estimates are published from time to time in the Department of Employment Gazette (see for example pp 1258-63 December 1975). Occasionally an attempt is made to identify sectors in which the increased labour supply might be absorbed, (e.g. Department of Employment Gazette, July 1975) Heretofore, these three macro-aggregates have been forecast and analysed in isolation. However, it is the aim of this study to draw these forecasts together in order to present a possible outline of the Scottish labour market in mid 1981, and to explore the sensitivity of the resulting projections to alternative migration assumptions. The paper consists of three parts:- 1 Population projections; 2 Labour force projections; 3 Employment projections; and a summary which assesses the outlook for the Scottish labour market in 1981 on the basis of these projections.