Decrease in gender employment gap over last decade

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

The gender employment gap, which measures the difference between the employment rates for men and women, decreased from 8.2 percentage points in 2009 to 6.3 percentage points last year.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today published statistics on Scotland’s Labour Market: People, Places and Regions 2019. This publication presents estimates sourced from the Annual Population Survey (APS) for a wide range of labour market indicators across local authority areas in Scotland for 2019.

This information precedes any impact of policies related to COVID-19.

The main findings for 2019 include:

  • since 2009 the unemployment rate, which measures those not in work but available for and actively seeking employment, has decreased in every local authority
  • by sector people aged 16 to 24 make up a relatively high proportion of the workforce in accommodation, food services, wholesale, retail and vehicle repairs, while those aged over 50 are more prevalent in agriculture, forestry, fishing, transport and storage
  • the disability employment gap, which is the difference between the employment rates of disabled people and non-disabled people, was 32.6 percentage points – a drop on a year before when it was 35.5 percentage points


Trends in Scotland’s labour market are monitored monthly using the quarterly Labour Force Survey (LFS). Read the monthly briefing for Scotland.

As the quarterly LFS has a smaller sample size it cannot be used to monitor trends below Scotland-level or smaller groups including employment by equality characteristics, so the APS remains the best source for these measures included in this publication.

The APS is an annual version of the LFS and the official source of many labour market and skill indicators for Scotland and its local authority areas. The publication provides a summary of data covering key indicators such as employment rates, underemployment (employed people who would be willing to work extra hours), rates of young people not in education, employment or training,  economic inactivity and employment rate gap by gender, ethnicity and disability.

The data in this publication covers the calendar year, January to December 2019.

The figures released today were produced in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Estimates of unemployment by local authority are model-based, which is the official measure of unemployment rate at local authority level .  To improve the quality of estimates for all local authorities, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) developed model-based estimates. 

Read the full statistical publication.

Further information on Labour Market statistics within Scotland.

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland.


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