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RSA Populus Survery Shows Extent Of Economic Insecurity Amongst Workers

2nd May 2018

RSA Scotland: quarterly national accounts show need to tackle modern economic insecurity.

Previously unpublished Scotland breakdown figures, from an RSA/Populus survey published in February on economic insecurity, reflect Scotland's household economic insecurity challenge as revealed in today's quarterly national accounts [see below].

Almost half (48%) of Scottish workers have less than £1,000 in savings (c.f. 40% of all UK workers).

RSA Scotland reiterates the need for universal basic income experiments in Scotland.

Commenting on the quarterly national accounts, which showed the Household Savings Ratio fell to 6.8%, Jamie Cooke, Head of RSA Scotland, said:

"These figures reflect the findings of the RSA's Seven Portraits report, which warned of widespread modern economic insecurity: in Scotland, almost half of workers have less than £1,000 saved, compared to 40% in the UK.

"Economic insecurity is a huge issue and requires big policy solutions, not simply more tinkering: as well as universal childcare, we need more policy experimentation like the basic income trials being explored by the Scottish Government and four Scottish local authorities."

RSA / Populus Modern Work survey - Scotland economic security figures

NB: Sample size for Scottish workers is 105.

These previously unpublished figures formed part of the dataset behind RSA's economic insecurity paper. Previously only the all-UK data was published.

These figures show that "economic insecurity" is just as pervasive across Scotland as other parts of the UK, and in some cases it is even more acutely felt by its workers:

Almost half of all (48%) Scottish workers have less than £1,000 in savings (c.f. 40% of all UK workers)

55% of workers in Scotland do not have anyone in their household who they could depend on to support them financially (c.f. 43%).

34% of workers in Scotland do not expect to have enough savings to maintain a decent living standard in retirement (c.f. 40%)

20% of workers in Scotland are concerned about the amount of debt they are in (c.f. 29%)

16% have trouble making ends meet because of income volatility (c.f. 19%)

28% feel they just about manage to make ends meet each month (c.f. 34%)

21% of Scottish workers report that the introduction of new technologies has made their job less secure (c.f. 17%).

15% feel there is a high chance they could experience a period of unemployment in the next two years (c.f. 19%).

The RSA [the Royal Society of Arts] is an independent charity whose mission is to enrich society through ideas and action.

The RSA is led by Matthew Taylor, who recently authored the Taylor Review into modern employment practices for the Prime Minister.

The RSA work covers a number of areas including the rise of the 'gig economy', robotics & automation; education & creative learning; and reforming public services to put communities in control.

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