Sectoral influences on Scotland's productivity performance

Turnbull, Jennifer and Slow, Jonathan and Richmond, Kenny (2019) Sectoral influences on Scotland's productivity performance. Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary, 43 (1). ISSN 2046-5378

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Productivity is an important driver of economic growth and a key determinant of wages and living standards. Scotland’s productivity performance is below a number of other economies, and the Scottish Government’s ambition is to match the performance of the top quartile of OECD countries. This paper considers the role that Scotland’s sectoral employment structure has played in recent productivity performance. The findings show that a majority of Scotland’s employment is in sectors that have below overall average productivity levels, and the employment levels in these sectors has increased in recent years. Conversely, employment has declined in a number of sectors that have above overall average productivity. Also, productivity levels in a number of large employing sectors have increased, but this has been offset to an extent by falling productivity in others. Sectoral employment and productivity trends have slowed the overall growth of productivity in Scotland. The paper then considers the implications for future forecast employment growth on productivity performance.