Employment at historic level

Progress made in tackling the gender gap and youth employment.

Record numbers of people in Scotland are employed, the gender gap has narrowed and more young people have jobs.

In 2017, 2,618,100 people were in employment and the employment rate was 74.3%, with both the number and rate being the highest on record.

The Regional Employment Patterns publication, based on the Annual Population Survey 2017 (January to December) revealed that Scotland has also narrowed the gender employment gap and increased youth employment.

The publication says:

  • The gender employment gap – the difference in male and female employment rates – has decreased from 10.6 percentage points in 2007 to 6.9 percentage points in 2017
  • The employment rate for people aged 16 to 24 increased to 59.4% over the past year
  • the disability employment gap was 35.8 percentage points, a decrease from 37.4 percentage points in 2016.

Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn said:

“This is an historic record for employment in Scotland, demonstrating both the strength of our economy and labour market and that the actions we are taking to grow Scotland’s economy are delivering results. Closing the gender gap is a priority for the Scottish Government and key to achieving inclusive economic growth. We are addressing this through several routs, including expanding childcare provision, promoting flexible working and a Scottish living wage, addressing pregnancy and maternity discrimination and improving women’s representation in senior management and boards.

“We are committed to helping disabled people reach their full potential, including having fair and sustainable jobs. I am committed to reducing the disability employment gap by more than half and the latest figures are encouraging and show we are heading in the right direction.“


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