The region – which counts insurance giant Aviva among its major employers – has 30,500 high-skilled staff, accounting for almost two-thirds of its workforce, according to the latest regional economic tracker published by Royal Bank of Scotland.
Nearby East Renfrewshire, home of Barrhead Travel, is close behind in second place, with high-skilled jobs making up 58.9 per cent of its total.
Of Scotland’s big cities, Edinburgh has the highest proportion of skilled roles, supporting more than 131,000 positions – more than half its workforce. Glasgow and Aberdeen are hot on the capital’s heels with about 45 per cent of their residents in highly skilled roles.
RBS senior economist Sebastian Burnside said the figures, compiled using data from the Office for National Statistics, “demonstrate the impact of technology on Scotland’s labour market”.
He added: “Firms are automating tasks and often replacing lower-skilled occupations; something that’s clear to see in retail as the number of check-out staff falls. But technology also creates opportunities and we’re seeing growth where data is helping generally higher-skilled workers take better decisions and be more efficient.”
According to the RBS study, general employment increased by 0.7 per cent across Scotland during 2015, with professional and trades roles offsetting a decline among “general” posts in areas such as retail and contact centres.
Medium- and high-skilled positions saw growth of 1.7 per cent, compared with a 2 per cent drop across the low-skilled sector.
The impact of technology on the employment landscape is highlighted in Glasgow – although it enjoys one of the highest proportions of highly skilled jobs, Scotland’s largest city has more low-skilled roles – 65,100 – than any other area.
The local authority area with the lowest rate of high-skilled roles is Dumfries & Galloway, at 31.3 per cent, while Dundee is shown to have the highest proportion of low-skilled jobs, accounting for 35.7 per cent of the workforce.
TOP TEN REGIONS FOR HIGH-SKILLED JOBS
60.5% – East Dunbartonshire
58.9% – East Renfrewshire
53.3% – Edinburgh
48.8% – Stirling
45.4% – Glasgow
44.5% – Aberdeen
44.4% – Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
44.4% – Aberdeenshire
44.1% – East Lothian
43.5% – Renfrewshire