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Summary: Disability and Labour Market

Summary: Disability and Labour Market

Disabled people experience lower rates of employment and lower pay than non-disabled people. Employment rates vary considerably by impairment, with people with depression and learning disabilities the least likely to be in employment.

Source: Scottish Government Equality Outcomes: Disability Evidence Review (2013)

In 2016 in Scotland:

  • The employment rate for those aged 16-64 who were Equality Act disabled was 42.9% compared to 80.1% for those who were not Equality Act disabled and 72.9% for the total population aged 16-64.

  • The employment rate for those who were Equality Act disabled rose by 0.9 percentage points from 41.9% in 2015.

  • 52.5% of people who were Equality Act disabled were economically inactive, an increase of 0.9 percentage points over the year.

Employment Rates by Disability

 Source: Annual Population Survey 

See the monthly briefing papers for the latest labour market statistics

Note: Estimates [from April 2013 onwards] are based on the core definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010, as specified in the Government Statistical Service (GSS) Harmonised Standards for questions on disability. It includes people with a health condition or illness lasting 12 months or more that reduces their ability to carry out day-to-day activities. It excludes certain non-core groups covered by the Equality Act, such as those with progressive or past conditions that do not currently limit their activities, and conditions that only limit their activities without medication or treatment. The introduction of this new definition means that estimates are not directly comparable with earlier periods.

Useful Links

Disability Page

Labour Market Page

Publications and Outputs

Publications and Outputs

Regional Employment Patterns in Scotland - Statistics from the Annual Population Survey

The main publication contains data on age and gender while further equalities analysis can be found in the Supplementary Local Authority Tables.

Scottish Government Equality Outcomes: Disability Evidence Review (2013)



Labour Market briefs

Annual Population Survey microdata is available (through a ‘special licence’ scheme) from the UK Data Archive.

External Links

External Links

Please note that you will leave the Scottish Government web site by clicking on any of the following links, and that the Scottish Government and its staff are not responsible for content external to this web site.

Office for National Statistics website



Other Reports relating to Disability and the Labour Market

Disability, Skills and Employment: A Review of Recent Statistics and Literature - Equality and Human Rights Commission Research Report.




Labour Market