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Aberdeen City and Shire economic review


Scottish Enterprise (SE) commissioned a series of economic reviews focusing on the functional economic geographies of the regions that form SE’s operating area: Aberdeen City and Shire, Dundee City Region, East Region, West Region and South of Scotland. The objectives of the review were to: review economic trends and performance since 1999; assess the potential contribution of each region to the Government Economic Strategy’s (GES’s) targets; and to assess the likely impact of the recession on each region. This report is for the local authority areas of Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire.


The GES’s seven purpose targets form the basis for assessing progress towards improving Scotland’s economic performance, and provide structure to the review. The review took the following approach: an examination of the global and national economic context; a review of recent economic trends and performance in the region; a comparison of performance with other regions; an assessment of the industrial structure of the region, including representation within key growth sectors; consideration of infrastructure and place issues; and a final economic outlook for the region.


The review concludes that: the region makes a disproportionately large contribution to Scotland’s economic output; GVA growth in the region is lower than in most of the rest of the UK, but this masks some positive achievements; GVA per employee in the region is higher than across both Scotland and the UK, but growth has been slower; employment rates in the region have been above the Scottish and UK averages since 1999, and the region performs well against other labour market indicators including unemployment, inactivity and benefit dependency; the region’s population has been increasing since 2004 after a period of decline, and is expected to continue growing; median earnings of employees are higher than across Scotland as a whole, though evidence of disparities exists; the region accounts for 12% of all Scotland’s CO2 emissions and has a higher rate of emissions per head than the Scottish and UK averages; and forecasts predict that the impact of the recession will be slightly less severe in the region, but it is expected to recover at a slower rate than in Scotland as a whole.


It was not within the remit of the review to make recommendations.

Author SLIMS; Oxford Economics
Published Year 2010
Report Type Research
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