Economic Overview

Economic Overview

Highland

  • The 2013 population for Highland was 232,950.
  • There has been strong population growth in Highland since 1981, with growth accelerating from 2001.
  • The area has significantly higher numbers of businesses and business starts per 10,000 adults than the Scottish average.
  • The area has a higher share of employment by industry in agriculture, forestry & fishing, construction, and accommodation & food services than the Scottish average.
  • The number of registered enterprises in Highland in the energy sector increased by 32.1% between 2012 and 2013, similar to the increase in the Highlands and Islands (33.3%) and higher than in Scotland (22.4%).
  • More people are employed in skilled trades than the Scottish average.
  • 71% of the population aged 16-74 are economically active, which exceeds the Scottish rate of 69%.
  • 15% of working age people are self-employed.
  • A smaller proportion of people are claiming out-of-work benefits than in Scotland as a whole.
  • Working more than 49 hours a week is more common than in Scotland or the UK.
  • Secondary school Year 6 attainment in Highland was higher than in Scotland for almost all categories and years.
  • Further Education enrolments from Highland increased by 4.4% between 2010/2011 and 2012/2013.
  • The numbers of students in Higher Education at the University of the Highlands and Islands and qualifiers from Higher Education courses at the university increased between 2011/2012 and 2012/13, and very substantially between 2003/04 and 2012/13.

Inner Moray Firth (including Badenoch & Strathspey)

  • The area's population at the time of the 2011 Census was 153,293.
  • The Inner Moray Firth experienced population growth of 14.8% between 2001 and 2011, higher than the rate experienced by any Local Authority area in Scotland.
  • The area has a higher percentage of working age people than the Highlands & Islands as whole.
  • The Health and Retail sectors employ more than 30% of the workforce.
  • A greater proportion of the workforce than in Scotland was employed in Construction, Motor Trades, Retail, Transport & Storage, Accommodation & Food Services, and Health in the Inner Moray Firth.
  • Median Gross Weekly Pay and Median Gross Hourly Pay were lower in Highland and the Travel to Work Areas (TTWAs) in the Inner Moray Firth than in Scotland and Great Britain overall in 2013, giving employers a competitive as well as skilled & well motivated workforce.
  • Median Weekly Hours worked by male full-time workers was higher in Invergordon, Inverness & Dingwall and Highland overall than in Scotland and Great Britain.
  • A higher proportion of all people aged 16 and over had level 4 qualifications or higher in the Inner Moray Firth area than in the Highlands and Islands and Scotland in 2011.
  • A higher proportion of Secondary Year 4 pupils gain general or credit grades in the area than in Scotland.

Caithness & Sutherland

  • 2011 Census Population of 39,732.
  • Mid 2012 Estimate of 39,576.
  • Population growth of 3.3% between the 2001 and 2011 Census of Population.
  • A third of the area's population (13,246 people) lived in Sutherland and two thirds(26,486 people) lived in Caithness in 2011.
  • The population of Sutherland increased by 2.9% and the population of Caithness by 3.5% between 2001 and 2011.
  • The economy of Thurso has been heavily dependant on the Dounreay nuclear power plant which is now being decommissioned.
  • Health, Retail, Accommodation, Food Services, and Education biggest employers.
  • A greater proportion of the workforce part-time in Caithness and Sutherland than in Scotland, with tourism being seasonal and often part-time.
  • A greater proportion of those aged 16-74 in employment worked mainly at or from home in Caithness and Sutherland than in the Highlands and Islands and Scotland.

Skye, Lochaber & Wester Ross

  • 2011 Census Population of 39,107.
  • Mid 2012 Estimate of 39,126.
  • The mountainous nature of the area makes it attractive to tourists, with the Isle of Skye a particular tourism magnet.
  • The region has the highest mountain in the United Kingdom (Ben Nevis) and two ski centres (Glencoe and Nevis Range).
  • Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross experienced population growth of 5.8% between 2001 and 2011.
  • 4.6% population increase in Fort William 2001 – 2011.
  • The population of Skye increased by 776 people (8.4%) between 2001 and 2011.
  • Biggest employers – Health, Retail, and Accommodation & Food Services.
  • A greater proportion of the workforce part-time in Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross than in Scotland, with tourism being seasonal and often part-time.
  • A higher proportion of all people aged 16 and over had level 4 qualifications or higher in Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross than in the Highlands and Islands and Scotland in 2011.
  • A greater proportion of those aged 16-74 in employment travelled to work on foot or by bicycle in Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross than in Scotland, and a smaller proportion by car or public transport.
  • Over 1 in 5 people work from home.