In Q1 2016, there were 546,700 people employed in the public sector in Scotland, this is similar to the level seen in Q1 2015. This was higher than the level seen in 1999, when the series began. In Q1 2016, public sector employment accounted for 21.3% of total employment, up from 20.9% in the previous year.
Of the total 546,700 people employed in the public sector in Scotland, 89.3% are accounted for by employment in the devolved public sector. Employment in the devolved public sector decreased by 1,900 (-0.4%) over the last year to 488,200 in Q1 2016.
Over the year, employment in the devolved public sector decreased in Local Government by 4,200 (-1.7%), Civil Service by 600 (-3.3%) and Police and Fire Related Services by 300 (-0.9%). This decrease in local government is in part due to local government staff transferring to arms’ length external organisations (ALEOs) which are not part of the public sector and the decrease in civil service employment is due to Historic Scotland no longer being part of the civil service (now a non-departmental public body, Historic Environment Scotland). Employment in the devolved public sector increased in NHS by 900 (+0.6%), Public Corporations by 400 (+6.1%) and Further Education Colleges by 400 (+3.2%).
10.7% of the total public sector employment relates to employment in the reserved public sector in Scotland. The reserved sector saw an increase of 2,000 (+3.5%) in headcount between Q1 2015 and Q1 2016.
Employment within the reserved public sector increased in the Armed Forces by 900 (+9.1%), Public Bodies by 200 (+1.8%) and the Civil Service by 300 (+1.1%).
Youth Employment in the devolved public sector
In Q1 2016, there were 22,680 young people aged 16-24 in employment in the devolved public sector, accounting for 4.6% of total employment in this sector. This was similar to the number and proportion of young people in employment in the devolved public sector in Q1 2015.
Over the year, the proportion of young people in the devolved public sector decreased in Local Government, down 0.1 percentage points from 4.7% in Q1 2015 to 4.6% in Q1 2016 and Scottish Government Agencies, down 0.3 percentage points from 7.4% in Q1 2015 to 7.1% in Q1 2016 while the proportion increased across the rest of the devolved public sector including Police and Fire, up 0.5 percentage points from 4.0% in Q1 2015 to 4.4% in Q1 2016 and Public Corporations, up 0.8 percentage points from 4.4% in Q1 2015 to 5.2% in Q1 2016.