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Glasgow City Council

Glasgow's economy continuing on an upward trend

A Glasgow City Council committee has learned today (2 October) about the city's economic trends over the past five years, which are largely positive, showing a halving of unemployment and an overall performance above the average for UK Core Cities.


Buchanan Street


The council's Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm Committee was informed about these trends in a report which had three themes: the general economy, the labour market and the business landscape.


The report shows that Glasgow has been improving on numerous economic indicators, but progress is still required to meet the ambitions outlined in the Glasgow Economic Strategy. Key findings include:

  • Glasgow's GVA - a measure of the total output of goods and services in the city - increased by 4.4% between 2015 and 2016.

  • From 2011-2016 Glasgow had the largest percentage increase amongst the UK Core Cities across both productivity measures.

  • Glasgow has realised its ambition, set within the Economic Strategy, of increasing the business base in the city by 1,000.

  • Glasgow's 5.7% unemployment rate recorded in 2017 was the lowest recorded in the city since estimates were established in 2004.


Councillor Greg Hepburn, Chair of the Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm Committee, said: "It is encouraging to see that Glasgow's economy is moving on an upward trend, with our performance now above the average of other UK Core Cities. We have achieved the lowest unemployment rate in the city since measures began, which is particularly pleasing. We want to ensure that all our citizens can secure sustainable, stable and reliable employment which pays at least the Living Wage.  

"Whilst challenges such as increasing the city's productivity rate remain, most of these indicators show a healthy and growing economy.  One of the City Government's key policies and commitments is inclusive economic growth, which aims to boost growth, create jobs, tackle poverty and improve the city's health, with some key initiatives launched just this week to help us deliver that. We have also established the Glasgow Partnership for Economic Growth, another plank in assisting us to do all in our power to ensure that these positive trends continue."


More detailed data includes Glasgow's GVA increase - this is particularly notable as it matched the short-term growth rate in London (+4.4%), and outperformed the national rates of Scotland (+3.2%) and the UK (+3.7%).


It is estimated that the number of jobs in Glasgow had increased from 401,000 in 2015 to 414,000 in 2016, a 3.2% increase which was the third-largest (behind Manchester and Liverpool) of the UK Core Cities and above the figures Scotland (0.8%) and the UK (1.8%).


Other indicators show that Glasgow's unemployment rate of 5.7% was the second largest decrease among the UK Core Cities, behind Manchester, meaning Glasgow has the third lowest unemployment rate amongst the UK Core Cities.


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