Research and data in the Scottish Borders: Place

Economy, business and work

Why is it important to have statistics about our economy, business and work?

Two of the national outcomes in the Scottish Government National Performance framework state the following about Scotland as a whole, we have:

  • a globally competitive, entrepreneurial, inclusive and sustainable economy
  • thriving and innovative businesses with quality jobs and fair work for everyone

Scottish Borders plays its part in contributing towards the Scottish economy and ensuring that our region is the best place in Scotland to work and do business. For this, we need robust information to measure how we are performing.

Scottish Borders policy framework 

The 2018-23 Scottish Borders Corporate Plan is key to our policy framework on how we plan to deliver services in the next five years. It consists of eight corporate priorities, which are informed by an evidence base, including the strategic assessment.

Data on business and the economy are central to Corporate Priority three: A thriving economy with opportunities for everyone. You can see how we did in our annual Corporate Performance Annual Report 2020-21 

Our economic and business objectives are managed by the Chief Executive's service director under several different departments, including Economic Development and Business Support.

Topic areas

There is a large amount of evidence from official statistics to inform our economic policy and business development, across a wide range of topic areas.

The latest Scottish Borders Labour Market Profile from Nomis provides a useful summary.

Skills Development Scotland published a useful Regional Skills Assessment for Scottish Borders in July 2021.

Jobs and employment


  • GVA (gross value added)
  • GDP (gross domestic product)

Wages and income

  • earnings data: workplace-based or residence-based by employment status
  • gross disposable household income (GDHI)
  • underemployment
  • economic inactivity
  • income and employment-related welfare benefits


Workplace equalities and workers' rights issues

  • employment and equalities characteristics
  • employment by gender and ethnic group
  • gender pay gap
  • living wage
  • minimum wage

Business demography

  • number of business by turnover and size
  • business start-ups and wind-downs
  • business stocks
  • personal insolvency

Physical and digital Infrastructure

  • railway statistics
  • road statistics
  • sites, land and floorspace for business and industry
  • digital connectivity

Entrepreneurial activity and innovation

  • professional, scientific and technical industries
  • IT industries
  • business enterprise research and development (BERD) expenditure

Economic analysis and partnership working

  • economic information and analysis
  • City Deal
  • South of Scotland Enterprise
  • EU programmes
  • South of Scotland Destination Alliance

Business analysis and support

Town centres

  • footfall
  • retail vacancies
  • long-term vacancies
  • retail units
  • charity shops
  • town centre survey and SB Retail Index

Tourism in the Scottish Borders

  • international visitors
  • overnight visitors
  • day visitors
  • visitor spend
  • attractions and reasons for visiting
  • visitor accommodation
  • employment in tourism services

Official statistics are available on some or all of these topics at a choice of different levels of geographical detail. If you would like to create an area profile or evidence base using these statistics for your local area within Scottish Borders, contact the Research and Information team.