Highland Economy

The Highland economy is dominated by rural industries such as agriculture, forestry, energy and tourism. Many people living in the locality commute to Perth for employment.


Claimant Counts

Highland has a lower level of people claiming out of work benefits compared to the rest of Perth and Kinross and Scotland. There are 30 of 16-64 year olds claiming this benefit 48% of this group are aged 25-49 years of age, 26% are aged between 16-24 and 26% are 50+.

AreaClaimant CountClaimant as a proportion of residents aged 16-64
(October 2017)
Perth and Kinross9551%


OccupationHighlandStrathtayPerth & KinrossScotland
All people aged 16 to 74 in employment4,7185,05072,3042,516,895
1. Managers, directors and senior officials14.30%11.90%10.50%8.40%
2. Professional occupations12.10%14.70%16.40%16.80%
3. Associate professional and technical occupations8.80%13.60%12.40%12.60%
4. Administrative and secretarial occupations7.70%9.80%10.00%11.40%
5. Skilled trades occupations18.80%16.20%14.10%12.50%
6. Caring, leisure and other service occupations8.90%8.50%8.90%9.70%
7. Sales and customer service occupations7.60%8.40%9.30%9.30%
8. Process, plant and machine operatives6.10%6.20%6.40%7.70%
9. Elementary occupations15.70%10.70%12.10%11.60%


AreaHighland & StrathtayPerth & KinrossScotland
A. Agriculture, forestry and fishing5.9%3.8%1.7%
B. Mining and quarrying0.6%0.5%1.4%
C. Manufacturing4.8%6.1%8.0%
D. Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply2.6%2.7%0.8%
E. Water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities0.7%1.0%0.8%
F. Construction8.5%8.8%8.0%
G. Wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles14.6%15.6%15.0%
H. Transport and storage3.4%3.9%5.0%
I. Accommodation and food service activities14.4%8.6%6.3%
J. Information and communication1.3%1.7%2.7%
K. Financial and insurance activities2.5%4.0%4.5%
L. Real estate activities2.0%1.3%1.2%
M. Professional, scientific and technical activities4.5%4.4%5.2%
N. Administrative and support service activities4.9%3.8%4.3%
O. Public administration and defence, compulsory social security4.5%5.9%7.0%
P. Education6.9%8.0%8.4%
Q. Human health and social work activities11.1%14.4%15.0%
R, S, T, U. Other6.7%5.5%4.9%


Fairer Working Lives

The Fairness Commission heard from the people of P&K that having a job has wider benefits than earning a wage; it provides people with a sense of purpose, friends and a sense of community, and the opportunity to develop as an individual. Although unemployment in P&K is low, 1 in 10 working age households receive some kind of benefit. In-work poverty is a growing issue, with average earnings 9% lower than the rest of Scotland. This is in part due to the seasonal and low paid nature of P&K’s dominant industries; tourism, hospitality and agriculture.

The uptake of early earning and childcare is high (95%) but the commissioners heard that it is not as flexible as it needs to be. The costs of full time childcare are unsustainable for those in low paid employment. They also found that there needs to be more recognition of unpaid experience such as caring responsibilities and volunteering amongst recruiters.

Useful Links

PK Economic Journal

Skills Development Scotland – PK data

NOMIS- Labour Market Profile