Average earnings in Scotland 'lagging economic progress'

Payslip and pencil The analysis suggested average earnings had fallen back to 2005 levels

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Average earnings in Scotland will not return to their pre-recession level until 2016 at the earliest, according to analysis by the Scottish government.

It suggested wages had not made the same progress as the economy or the jobs market and had fallen back to 2005 levels.

Last month, Scottish government figures indicated the economy had grown past its pre-recession level.

The number of Scots in work also hit a record high between April and June.

Youth and Women's Employment Secretary Angela Constance said: "Despite the continued improvements in Scotland's economic performance, too many households still struggle to meet their bills with wages eroded and the cost of living increasing.

"Around half of working age adults and over half of children in poverty are in working households."

Youth unemployment has fallen by 2.9% over the year, and is level with the UK rate, while the number of women in employment has reached a record level of 1,250,000 - 36,000 more than a year ago.

But Ms Constance said females still faced a number of challenges in the workplace, including greater job insecurity, higher levels of under-employment and pay inequality, with women paid on average 19% less than their male counterparts.

She added: "As the economy strengthens the Scottish government is focusing on the outlook for growth and in particular the type of growth we want to promote to ensure that growth is sustainable, resilient and allows everyone to realise their potential."

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