Jobs growth in Edinburgh is the highest in the UK

New projects across Capital are paying off. Picture: TSPL
New projects across Capital are paying off. Picture: TSPL
3
Have your say

JOBS growth in Edinburgh is the highest in the UK, with the construction industry offering the biggest number of new posts, latest figures show.

Job postings for roles in the Capital rose by 61.2 per cent last month, compared with May 2014, more than twice the national average of 29.8 per cent, according to the CV-Library website.

I think there’s a real can-do attitude in Edinburgh among business people

GORDON HENDERSON

It was the second month running that Edinburgh topped the UK league for jobs growth. The top three sectors were construction with 128 jobs posted last month, engineering with 108 jobs and administration with 69.

Gordon Henderson, of the Federation of Small Businesses, was not surprised by the Capital’s strong showing.

He said: “Unemployment is very low in Edinburgh. We have a very strong economy and it’s a good place to live and run a business. A lot of people want to work here.

“I think there’s a real can-do attitude in Edinburgh among business people. The tech sector is growing and vibrant and creating jobs.”

He said the city also had several huge construction projects about to start, not least the St James Quarter.

“That’s going to create literally thousands of jobs,” he said. “There is major construction going on at Haymarket – those are really good jobs.

“And they’re building a new Blood Transfusion Service centre out at Heriot-Watt, which is a major project.

“We also know from all the debate around the Local Development Plan, there is a lot of demand to build houses.”

Graham Birse, director of the Edinburgh Institute of Leadership and Management Practice at Edinburgh Napier University, said the construction sector had shed a huge number of jobs five or six years ago and the high rate of vacancies may reflect problems in getting some of them back into the industry.

But he said: “The overriding factor in these figures is the nature of the Edinburgh economy, which has a healthy balance between private and public sector, but also the variety of sub-sectors.

“In addition to that, the attraction of the city as a place to live, work and invest is bringing many more technology companies here.

“And there has been a return to viability for many development sites, not just big ones like St James, but you can see quite a lot of cranes across the city skyline, and there is construction work on everything from student accommodation to the redevelopment of the station out at Gogar and Edinburgh Park.”

But he pointed out the growth in vacancies was not matched by rising pay.

“On the downside, we have to bear in mind that many of the jobs being created are fixed term or part-time.

“It’s great there are more jobs but outwith the professional and managerial roles, which tend to command higher salaries, for many of the support roles and skilled or semi-skilled roles the rates of pay are not rising in line with the number of vacancies.”

• ian.swanson@edinburghnews.com