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Productivity stalled in 2021, figures show

The figures were released on Wednesday (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
The figures were released on Wednesday (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Labour productivity in Scotland stagnated in 2021, new figures show.

Output per hour in Scotland’s industries did not grow at all during last year, when the country was still struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic and some businesses were subject to closure.

By comparison, there was a 0.2% increase in 2020.

However, the final quarter of last year saw a 2.3% increase in output per hour, compared to the same time the previous year and 1% more than in 2019 – before the pandemic hit.

Business minister Ivan McKee said the figures show Scotland’s productivity to be the third highest of UK regions – although such a breakdown is not available in the Scottish Government publication.

“These statistics show that despite the vast and complex challenges that Scotland’s economy has faced in recent years, from the pandemic to Brexit and the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, the economy is resilient and continues to maintain and drive productivity,” he said.

“Scotland continues to record the third highest productivity levels in the UK, below only London and south-east England, representing significant progress and welcome evidence that long-term economic actions are paying dividends.

“Our national strategy for economic transformation will further stimulate productivity and business growth by investing in skills, training, innovation, infrastructure and entrepreneurship and expanding opportunities internationally.”