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Households benefit as jobs and wages hit new highs

John SwinneyConsumers, workers and householders are enjoying the longest period of uninterrupted growth in the Scottish economy since 2001, according to government figures.

The number of people in jobs is at a record, unemployment is at pre-recession levels and wages are rising.

Today’s State of the Economy report, published by the Scottish Government Chief Economist, reveals the eleventh quarter of expansion across all main sectors.

It says rising house prices, growing consumer confidence and low inflation are helping to boost household incomes and spending.

However, it also warns that further austerity measures from Westminster, low oil prices and subdued demand in global export markets pose challenges for the future.

The report highlights:

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “Our programme of investment in public infrastructure is paying off, helping support a particularly strong performance in the construction sector.

“The benefits from this investment will underpin future growth in the Scottish economy and is the appropriate response in order to support and grow the economy rather than the UK Government programme of austerity.

“Although Scotland has not been immune to the global economic challenges over the last few years and there is undoubtedly still work to be done, these figures show our economy’s underlying resilience – with positive trends apparent in both employment and investment levels.

“Just last week we also saw youth employment reach highs not seen since 2005 and the lowest youth unemployment level and rate since 2008.

‘The Scottish Government remains committed to building a fairer, more sustainable, and more resilient economy, translating into real opportunities for business and added security for workers and families.”

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