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Dundee employment level at its highest for more than 20 years

Employment rates in Dundee have overtaken the Scottish average.
Employment rates in Dundee have overtaken the Scottish average.

Dundee’s employment level is at its highest for more than 20 years, recently overtaking the Scottish average.

Dundee has often been identified as one of the cities in the UK with the lowest employment level, frequently featuring in the lower quartile in league tables.

The most recent figures, collated for the Office for National Statistics annual population survey, show that the employment level in Dundee sits at 73.2%, up 9.4% since 2017.

Dundee’s council leader, John Alexander, has hailed the most recent figures.

He says the city’s employment level is a signal of how “a bold and ambitious approach is delivering results”.

Dundee employment on the up

The council leader said: “Over the last five years, we’ve made it our mission to create a strong foundation for business and jobs growth.”

He said that has been carried out through a “significant investment” of more than £350 million and “proactive work” to attract jobs and investment.

Professor Norman McLennan, Jamie Hepburn MSP, COES president Mr Hong Chong and Dundee Council Leader John Alexander as Chinese firm COES opened offices in Dundee.

Mr Alexander added: “Despite the challenges, Dundee continues to make its presence felt with a renewed confidence.

“Through my role as leader of the council and leader of the Scottish Cities Alliance, I’ve seen how that proactive and determined approach has opened doors for our city.

“I’ve had more meetings with businesses and investors in the last three years than any time in the city’s history.”

Dundee City Council has helped shape the Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc and the development of the city’s waterfront.

These efforts, according to Mr Alexander, are turning heads.

He said: “I hope this signals the efforts, ambitions and positive vision for the development of Dundee make a difference.

“There’s more to come for our city and I will continue to work hard to bring more jobs and investment.

Derek Mackay MSP visited Michelin Dundee in 2019, here with John Reid, Cllr John Alexander and David Martin.
Derek Mackay MSP visited Michelin Dundee in 2019, here with John Reid, Cllr John Alexander and David Martin.

“I know and understand that the city has its detractors who haven’t always been convinced by our strategy.

“But I hope this shows that a bold and ambitious approach is delivering results.

“We are concentrating on delivering more jobs in our port, at Michelin, by supporting our growing tech and life sciences sectors and, of course, international projects such as Eden.”

Dundee UK’s first living wage city

Beyond the direct investment and jobs creation, the council leader points to important interventions, such as living wage accreditation.

Dundee is Scotland’s second-most affordable city for those on minimum wage.

Christine McGlasson, Xplore Dundee managing director, Cllr John Alexander, Peter Kelly, Poverty Alliance director and Lyn Anderson, Living Wage Scotland.

It became the UK’s first living wage city and has spearheaded efforts to increase the numbers of living wage employers.

This, according to Mr Alexander, means jobs are being created, which contributes positively to the city’s economy.

“It isn’t just about creating jobs for jobs’ sake but also making sure we are lifting living standards,” he said.

“That, now more than ever, is incredibly important as we see the cost of living continuing to increase”.

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