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Scottish growth forecast downgraded

Wednesday June 22nd 2011

A think tank has scaled back its growth forecast for Scotland and warned of thousands of job losses in the public sector over the next few years.

Ernst & Young's Scottish ITEM Club said Scotland's economy will be hit by inflation and soaring commodity costs as they dent consumer confidence and spending.

By mid-2012 the public sector is likely to employ 40,000 fewer people than it did during the peak levels in 2008 - a 5% overall decrease.

The group predicts the downward trend will continue until the job loss figures reach 80,000 by 2015.

In contrast, employment levels in the private sector are expected to see a steady rise and surpass the 2008 peak sometime by the end of 2013 or early 2014.

By this time nearly half of all workers in Scotland will be part of the private sector, the group said. It said the sector has the potential to create 8% more jobs than current levels by 2015, representing around 10,000 new positions.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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