Disabled people and the labour market in Scotland

An Official Statistics publication for Scotland.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today published statistics on Disabled People and the Labour Market in Scotland from the Annual Population Survey (APS), which shows 45.6% of disabled people aged 16-64 were employed in 2018.

This was compared to 81.1% of non-disabled people who were in employment. The employment gap between disabled and non-disabled people decreased to 35.5 percentage points.

The main findings for 2018 are:

• in 2018, the employment rate for disabled people in Scotland aged 16-64 was 45.6%, compared with an employment rate of 81.1% for non-disabled people
• the unemployment rate for disabled people aged 16-64 in Scotland was 9.4% in 2018, compared with an unemployment rate of 3.6% for non-disabled people
• in 2018, almost half of disabled people between 16-64 in Scotland were economically inactive (49.7%), compared with 15.9% of non-disabled people
• 26.3% of economically inactive disabled people wanted to work, higher than 16.9% of economically inactive non-disabled people
• the employment gap between disabled and non-disabled people was wider for men at 40.0 percentage points compared with 31.1 percentage points for women
• disabled people who are in a minority ethnic group have an employment rate of 37.9%, lower than non-disabled minority ethnic people (57.8%)


The figures released today were produced by independent statistical staff free from any political interference, in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

The infographic summary and excel tables can be accessed at:

All information is sourced from the Annual Population Survey and the January to December dataset is compared in each year for those aged 16-64 years. The Equality Act Disabled variable is a derived variable which identifies those who are over 16 years old, who self reported a health condition lasting 12 months or more and who report that this condition reduces their ability to carry out day to day activities by a little or a lot. The disability employment gap is calculated by taking the difference between the employment rates of non-disabled and disabled people.

Further information on Labour Market statistics within Scotland can be accessed at:

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at:



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