Major inquiry launched into the labour market in Scotland


A major inquiry that will investigate how employment and job quality has changed since the 2008 recession has been launched by the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee.

Throughout the course of its inquiry, the Committee will explore the contrasting qualities of different jobs and the impact of low wages and temporary/insecure jobs on the Scottish economy.  

MSPs on the Committee have today issued a call for people from across Scotland to give their views on their quality of work, and how that work has affected their health and wellbeing.   

The Committee will also look at the health and social impacts of low pay and low quality work, and how the Scottish Government policies can influence the quality of jobs and the wellbeing of workers in Scotland.  

Convener of the Committee Murdo Fraser MSP said: 

“The Scottish economy is clearly on the road to recovery but it’s important that as politicians we reflect on whether the 2008 recession has had a long lasting impact on the quality of jobs in the labour market.  

“An increase of people in employment is always to be welcomed. However, this inquiry will delve into the issues behind the headlines and determine if job quality has improved.  

“Issues such as low pay and zero hour contracts are high on the political agenda, but this inquiry wants to get to the bottom of their impact on the wider Scottish economy.”  

Deputy Convener of the Committee Dennis Robertson MSP said: 

“Part of this inquiry is about hearing directly from people across Scotland who work in different sectors of the economy about what they value from an employer and if their working conditions have improved.  

“Along with other evidence, this will help us as a Committee to determine the impact of employment practices on the Scottish economy. 

“The health and social impact of employment practices is one the Committee is particularly interested in hearing more about, particularly the impact of low pay.” 

The Committee has issued a survey and also is also asking the following views:

  • What makes a job ‘good’ or ‘bad’?
  • Have jobs become better or worse since 2008?
  • What effect might low quality/low pay jobs have on the economy?
  • What can the Scottish Government and public policy makers do to improve job quality in Scotland.

We invite submissions, in writing or using our online form, by Friday, 21 August 2015


The inquiry will get underway at the Economy Committee’s meeting on Wednesday 24 June where it will take evidence from statisticians, academics and trade unions on understanding the effects of low quality work. 

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