Labour market in Scotland

You may have found your dream job in the financial sector in Scotland, but will your spouse find a job in Scotland, too? This section gives brief descriptions of Glasgow's and Edinburgh's major sectors and includes stories from people who have come to Scotland with their partner.

Jobs in Glasgow and Edinburgh

The labour markets in Scotland's two major cities are quite distinct.

Traditionally, Glasgow has been a manufacturing city with Clydebank as a world leading centre of shipping and other manufacturing. In recent years Glasgow has worked hard to develop a more sustainable employment base which embraces all sectors of industry and commerce. 

The present day Glasgow economy is firmly based on industries which either develop, or apply, new technologies in both the production and service industries. Today, telecommunications, software development, energy and technology sectors, sit side by side with the more traditional, but reshaped, mercantile, engineering and marine activities.

Despite intensive international competition, many of Glasgow's manufacturers remain amongst the market leaders in their own sectors.

Edinburgh is Scotland's capital city, and after the opening of the Scottish parliament in 1999 it is home to services supporting the public sector and policy makers. 

The service sector is fundamental to the economic well being of Edinburgh. The main service sectors are retail distribution, education, banking and finance, insurance, business services, tourism and other services. The manufacturing sector in Edinburgh is dominated by three industrial groups, namely: electrical and electronics engineering; paper, printing and publishing; and food and drink.

Of the ten largest companies with headquarters in Edinburgh, seven are in the financial industry, along with Scottish & Newcastle (brewery/leisure), John Menzies (retailing) and United Distillers (whisky). 

Finding a job

Looking for work is looking for work - no matter where you live. However, the growth of the financial sector in Scotland results in growth in its supporting sectors as well. Potential employers may be accessed in the usual ways; through job agencies, websites, and newspapers.

Job agencies

Most people choose to sign up with more than one job agency when first looking for a job, but rather than signing up with too many it is worthwhile spending some time finding the agencies that target your specific sector and wishes. 

Most agencies require a CV and they will ask you to fill in registration details including details such as what kind of job you want, the location you want to work in and the hours you want to work.


These are some of the things you may wish from websites offering job databases and job searches:

  • Emails of jobs on a daily basis which match your requirements
  • Can filter list of jobs by location with accurate and specific locations
  • Can filter list of jobs by salary
  • Can filter list of jobs by keywords (such as full-time, parttime, flex-time)



Scotland's two main daily papers "The Scotsman" and "TheHerald" carry job adverts most days, although Friday is the best day for both. "The Scotsman" has an Edinburgh bias to the jobs in it, "The Herald" a Glasgow bias. However, sometimes jobs in Edinburgh are only advertised in "The Herald". If you live outside Scotland, the best paper with a UK wide circulation and with a focus on Scottish jobs is "Scotland on Sunday".