Scotland’s economy: get the facts

By , 15/02/17

Scotland is one of the strongest economies in the world – with advantages and resources few nations can match.

We are absolutely committed to building a more competitive, more sustainable and fairer economy.
Since 2007, we have taken real action to support businesses, create jobs and build a more equal country.
Here’s what you need to know.
Scotland has one of the strongest economies in the world.

  • Productivity growth in Scotland has been much faster in Scotland than in the UK -  as measured by output per hour worked. Since the start of the recession, productivity has increased by 7.6 per cent, while it has grown by only 0.4 per cent in the UK as a whole.

  • Scotland’s GDP per head growth in the five years since 2010 was above the UK average, when London is excluded.

  • Today Scotland has the highest pay anywhere in the UK outside of London and the South East. ONS figures show median full time gross annual pay has grown 21 per cent in the last ten years.

  • Scotland’s international exports - valued at £28.7 billion in 2017 - are up 41 per cent under the SNP. We’ll now double the number of people working for Scottish Development International across Europe and establish and embed Innovation and Investment Hubs in London, Brussels, Dublin, and Berlin.

  • Scotland is the top destination, outside of London, for foreign direct investment. Ernst & Young have estimated that since 2006 40,000 jobs have been created in Scotland as a result of foreign direct investment. And in 2016-17, 7,839 jobs were secured through inward investment - 10 per cent up on the previous year.

  • Scotland’s employment rate has hit a record high and unemployment is at the lowest rate of any UK nation. Scotland’s youth unemployment is also below the UK rate and among the lowest in the EU.

We’re using the powers of the Scottish Parliament to make our economy stronger still.

  • We’re  building a skilled and educated  workforce. We’re committed to increasing the number of Modern Apprenticeships to 30,000; we’re increasing college funding, and education will continue to be tuition free under the SNP.

  • We’re connecting businesses to the markets they need. We’ve exceeded the 2016 target to provide broadband access to 85 per cent of premises, and we’ll reach 100 per cent by 2021.
  • We’re helping small businesses expand and create jobs. We’ve slashed or abolished business rates for 100,000 premises and to date small businesses have saved £1.2 billion.

  • We're investing in innovation. We will invest an additional £45 million in business research and development, through Scottish Enterprise, over the next three years. 
  • We’re helping businesses go international. For businesses with the potential to grow and export more - particularly start-up companies - the new Scottish Growth Scheme will provide up to £500 million over three years of investment guarantees and some loans. 

  • We’re standing up for Scottish industry. The SNP government secured a future for Scottish Steel, with the transfer of the Dalzell and Clydebridge plants to Liberty Steel; the Ferguson shipyard in Inverclyde, and the UK’s last remaining aluminium smelter in Lochaber

  • And, we’re working to protect Scotland’s place in the single market, which is over eight times the size of the UK market. The Scottish Government has set out a plan to keep Scotland in the European Single Market - protecting our economy, trade, jobs and living standards. By contrast, a Tory hard Brexit, outside the single market, could cost Scotland 80,000 jobs over a decade and people an average of £2,000 in wages.

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