State of the Nation: Brexit & COVID-19 reshaping work & trade

SCDI’s latest State of the Nation briefing for May – which brings together all the latest data and forecasts for the Scottish economy in one place – highlights how the end of the UK’s transition period with the EU and the COVID-19 crisis are reshaping working patterns and trade flows.

Optimism was growing for a strong recovery this summer ahead of the re-opening of retail, tourism and hospitality on 26 April. But there are also concerns about the ongoing damage to exports as well as potential surges in inflation and unemployment.

Key points

  • Nearly 2.6 million people (74.6%) are in work in Scotland, while 120,000 people (4.4%) are jobless
  • Home working varies significantly by rurality and deprivation – from 43.1% in Edinburgh to 23.4% in Glasgow and 10.3% in South Ayrshire
  • UK exports to the EU of food and live animals third lower in early 2021 than early 2020
  • Sales of non-food items in Scotland almost half of 2019’s levels
  • £180bn in additional savings have been built up by UK households during the pandemic
  • Interest rates held at 0.1%, a record low

Download the briefing below for more information and analysis.

Our briefing is published in partnership with DailyBusiness.


State of the Nation / May


State of the Nation / April


Impact of Brexit BRIEFING