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Economic Research alert - May 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 - Low paid Scottish workers have the least flexible working, and the gap between the number of flexible workers on the lowest and highest salaries has increased in the last year suggests the latest Flex for Life report. 44% of workers core skills are expected to change in the next 5 years suggests the Future of Jobs report from the World Economic Forum. Cognitive skills are reported to be growing in importance most quickly, reflecting the increasing importance of complex problem-solving in the workplace. Innovation - Scottish small businesses are lagging behind other regions with sustainability plans according to a recent Small Business Sustainability report - (47%) did not have a formal plan in place to date (vs 42% national average). 39% of consumers in Scotland think that the metaverse – a virtual-reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users – will become widely used in the next 10 years. International - 80% of businesses currently export and 49% of their annual revenue is generated from exporting suggests the UK Export report. Nearly 75% anticipate that their export sales will increase in the next year. 62% of businesses said post-Brexit disruption was the greatest issue facing trade suggests the Britain’s Changing Position in a Global Trade report. Investment - The HIE Rural Business survey shows the main concerns for businesses over the next six months are rising costs (74%), economic uncertainty (30%), profit margins (23%) and supply chain disruption (20%). Scotland has the second highest proportion of fast-growth female-led companies across the UK after Wales (12.1%) according to The Gender Index.


The report makes no recommendations.

Author Scottish Enterprise
Published Year 2023
Report Type Research