According to a new report released today, Scotland has lost 90,000 jobs in manufacturing since the Labour Party came to power in 1997. However, the industry has been one of the largest beneficiaries in the services-based sector over the same time period, according to Ernst & Young’s Item Club.
Overall, since the Labour Party’s rise to power, more than one million jobs have been lost in the UK's manufacturing sector.
Earlier this week, official Scottish Executive figures revealed the number of manufacturing jobs in Edinburgh had plunged by almost a third to just 14,300 between 2000 and 2004, with the closure of manufacturing plants operated by Ethicon and Motorola.
Dougie Adams, economic advisor to the Ernst & Young Scottish Item Club, said that this was a "slightly worse" performance than for the UK as a whole. However, the service sector has "never had it so good," with every one of the 12 UK regions seeing its service sector currently provide at least 66% of all jobs.
The service sector had grown by an average 3.4% per year since 1997 and now accounted for three-quarters of the GDP and 80% of all UK employment.
In its special report, “Explaining the Poor Performance of UK Manufacturing Since 1997,” the UK's manufacturing sector has been "struggling" since 1997, "growing slower than other developed economies, such as the US and much of Western Europe" as labor costs rose, which is making and keeping the UK uncompetitive.