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 is four times as fast as the UK - as measured by output per hour worked. Since the SNP came to office, productivity has increased by 9.4 per cent, while stagnating for the UK as a whole.
  • 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.
  • Scotland’s youth unemployment rate is the lowest since records began - and the second lowest in the EU. Scotland continues to outperform the UK on female employment and, over the past year, unemployment is down overall.
...and we’re using the powers of the Scottish Parliament to make it 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 helping small businesses expand and create jobs. Small businesses have saved more than a billion pounds in Business Rates, thanks to the the Small Business Bonus Scheme. 
  • 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 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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