The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)
Dundee pay among the lowest in Scotland
Official figures show Dundee workers earn well under the national average. Ahead of our Dundee Jobs Summit today, we explore how the city can be driven forward
Everyone wants a bigger pay packet – but Dundee could really do with one.
Workers in the City of Discovery are paid 12% less than the national average, according to official figures from the Office of National Statistics.
The city’s full-time workforce gets an average weekly pay packet of £463, compared with £527 across Scotland – one of the lowest wage levels in the country.
Experts say that is because of Dundee’s population decline, its comparative lack of “high value” sectors and its exposure to austerity through a large proportion of public sector workers.
Most of the best paid jobs in Scotland are in Aberdeen (£562), Edinburgh (£554) and Glasgow (£516).
Dr David McCollum, a St Andrews University lecturer whose research interests include labour market changes, said Dundee wage levels are among the lowest in Scotland.
“This disparity can be at least partly attributed to Dundee’s particular experienceofeconomicrestructuring, whichhas seenpopulationdeclineandarelativelack of ‘high value’ sectors within the city’s economicbase,” hetoldTheCourier.
“Therecentrecessionhasfurtherexacerbated the challenges that Dundee faces, with a comparatively large contractioninemployeejobssince2009. This is partly because Dundee has been vulnerabletoconstraintsinpublicspending since the public sector makes up a relatively large share of jobs in the city.”
But Dr McCollum said if Dundee can diversify its economy – including through expanding its “existing high value sectors” such as life sciences, digital media and financial services – then a rise in employment and wage levels could follow.
He added: “Related to this is the need to attract and retain a buoyant and well qualified working age population, as a skilled workforce is central to private sector expansion and population growth could help to exert upward pressure on wage levels.
“Despite these challenges, Dundee is benefiting from significant investment and regeneration and the city is increasingly being seen as a desirable place to live, work, study and visit. So there is plenty of reason for optimism that Dundee’s revival can continue apace.”