DUNFERMLINE currently has the highest employment rate in Fife as well as the highest average weekly earnings in the workplace.
The median wage is currently £632.30 in the city, while a total of 78.1% of people are in employment, beating the Scotland-wide figure of 72.2%.
A report to members of the Dunfermline Town Area Committee of Fife Council also found that the Scottish parliamentary constituency of Dunfermline has the highest proportion of micro businesses in Fife (90.3%) while employment of women (82.2%) was higher than men’s employment. (73.9 percent).
However, the report by Fife Council’s Principal (Economics) Officer, Peter Corbett, also said employment in the town fell from 29,000 in September 2019 to 27,000 in September 2020.
The percentage of vacant homes in Dunfermline town center has fallen from 19.2% in 2019 to 20.8% last year.
‘Dunfermline has the highest number of jobs in the area so we have seen a commensurate drop in numbers,’ he told advisers.
“It is no more significant than in other areas of Fife and Scotland. Hospitality, gastronomy and tourism have certainly been the areas most affected. Hopefully from today , we’ll see a bit of improvement in those areas as well.
“It was very encouraging to see that the first half figures for 2021 show that Dunfermline, along with St Andrews, showed the two best recovery rates for tourism business.”
Mr Corbett said there was a common trend in terms of vacant units in major city centers which had lost businesses such as Debenhams.
‘Current floor space tends to be larger in larger town centers like Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy,’ he said.
“We are seeing some success in smaller town centers such as Inverkeithing and Kincardine, all of which are showing improvements as ‘shop local’ has taken a positive turn in some of these areas.”
Councilor Helen Law, leader of the committee, said it has been a very difficult time for businesses in Dunfermline town centre.
“It’s positive that we seem to see a light at the end of the tunnel,” she said. “It looks like things are looking up, but the vacancies across the city are a real concern. It’s quite distressing to see this, but we need to move on.”
Town center economic adviser Sunil Varu said the situation in Dunfermline mirrored what was happening in the UK.
“Hospitality was really affected, people had late cancellations of Christmas parties and such. It was very late in the day and there was not much companies could do about it,” he said. he declares.
“There has been a slight improvement in the new year because the restrictions have been lifted slightly.
“There is now an opportunity for people to get out and do things, but that is offset by the fact that we are going to be approaching a mini-crisis in the cost of living.
“Energy costs are going up, everything is so much more expensive, taxes are going to go up, we’ve come to the end of furlough.
“So while people are keen to get out and do things, the ability to spend any disposable income they have is going to be affected, so we have to remain vigilant.”