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Economic Research alert – April 2023


This paper provides an overview of research in the public domain over the last month with a focus on jobs, innovation, international and investment.


The methodology consisted of desk research.


Jobs - Research shows that 52% of over 50s in Scotland who have left the workforce since the pandemic cite early retirement as their main reason for leaving. Sickness and disability are also significant drivers for over 50s leaving the workplace early in Scotland. If progress towards gender equality at work continues at its historical rate, an 18-year old woman starting work today will not see pay equality in her working lifetime suggests the PWC Women in Work Index. Innovation - By 2050, energy generation from four key renewable sources – solar, onshore wind, offshore wind or hydropower – will account for almost 84% of total generation, up from just below 50% in 2021 suggests a new report. A YouGov survey shows that drivers would be more likely to go electric if they could charge their vehicles at work. International - Small businesses are being held back from international trade by excessive customs paperwork, soaring costs and supply chain issues, according to research by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). Figures from the Scottish Government show that the value of Scotland’s international goods exports increased by 23.5% (up £6.8 billion in 2022). In comparison, international goods exports from the UK increased by 19.2%. Investment - FSB's latest Growth Belt report highlights the way rural businesses are struggling against a backdrop of mounting energy costs, poor transport links, and unreliable broadband. 43% of rural small firms planned to grow, compared to 49% in urban areas. According to the Economic Value of Boating Tourism in Scotland survey 2022, sailing /boating is estimated to contribute £84m in Gross Value Added (GVA) and 3,100 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) jobs – many in rural and fragile coastal communities.


The report makes no recommendations.

Author Scottish Enterprise
Published Year 2023
Report Type Research
  • Internationalisation
    Internationalisation of Scottish businesses, People/talent attraction
  • Innovation
    Business innovation