North-east residents have continued to have more spending money than any other part of Scotland during the worst years of the oil and gas downturn.
New figures show Aberdeen city still boasted the highest gross disposable household income (GDHI) in 2016, with Aberdeenshire having the third largest, just behind Edinburgh.
The £22,508 average disposable income in Aberdeen was 32% higher than the figure for the whole of Scotland, and the £20,681 in Aberdeenshire was 22.5% above the national average.
However, the two north-east council areas did experience the biggest falls in GDHI in Scotland between 2015 and 2016, with Aberdeenshire’s dropping by 3.4% and Aberdeen’s by 1.5%.
Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin believes the North Sea downturn would have played a part in the drop, but said the figures showed how the region remained
“The north-east continues to be Scotland’s economic powerhouse and recent figures have shown employment is almost back to 2015 levels following the oil price crash three years ago,” she said.
“The downturn in oil and gas has clearly had an impact on income.
“The threat of Brexit has also been an impact and underlines the need for a continued single market and customs union membership to protect the north-east economy.”
GDHI is the amount of money all the people in a household have available to spend or save after they have paid direct and indirect taxes and received any direct benefits.
The data emerged just days after a Scottish Government survey showed Aberdeen had lost 9,000 workers in 2016 as it saw the sharpest decline in Scottish employment rates.
However, last year it “bounced back” with the country’s most dramatic increase, as the employment rate rose by 8,300.
As well as Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen, three other council areas in Scotland experienced a decline in GDHI between 2015 and 2016, including the Western Isles, which dropped by 0.3% to £16,479, and Shetland, where it fell by 0.1% to £20,124.
Moray and Orkney both increased by 2.8%, to £18,284 and £18,381 respectively, while Highland’s figure had risen by 2.7% to £18,482, and Argyll and Bute’s went up by 2.6% to £17,787.
Across Scotland, the average GDHI in 2016 was £17,026, which represented a 0.1% increase on the year before.