Scottish Government Workforce Statistics December 2017

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland

The latest quarterly Scottish Government Workforce Information statistics have been published today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician. These statistics cover the numbers of workers, staff sickness rates, and the diversity of staff, up to the most recent quarter ending December 2017.

The statistics show that:

  • At the end of December 2017, there were 5,535 FTE (Full Time Equivalent) directly employed staff, an increase from last year’s figure of 5,149 at the end of December 2016. The percentage of directly employed staff in permanent (96%) and temporary (4%) categories was similar to the same period last year (December 2016: 97%, 3%).
  • There was a 14% increase in the number of contingent (non-directly employed) workers, from 992 at the end of December 2016, to 1,131 at the end of December 2017, an increase of 139 workers.
  • The staff sickness level was 7.4 average working days lost (AWDL) per staff year in the 12 month period ending December 2017 (3.3% of working days were lost). This is the same number of AWDL for the same period last year (7.4 AWDL December 2016).
  • At the end of December 2017, just over half (51.2%) of the workforce were female, compared to 48.8% male. The proportion of female staff is similar compared to the same period last year (50.9% December 2016).
  • The majority of staff were aged 40-49 (28.4%), 50-59 (27.3%) and 30-39 (24.5%) at the end of December 2017. In contrast, 13.5% were aged 16-29, and 6.4% were aged 60 or over.
  • The proportions of directly employed staff providing diversity information on ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and religion or belief have all increased since the same period last year.


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

The full statistics are available at: /publications/workforce-information/

The statistics contain quarterly data from March 2012 to December 2017 and present: 

  • full time equivalent numbers and headcounts in each directly employed staff category
  • headcounts of contingent workers (non-directly employed workers) engaged in work for the Scottish Government
  • sickness absence levels of directly employed staff
  • headcounts of directly employed staff by: age, disability status, ethnicity, gender, marital/civil partnership status, religion or belief, and sexual orientation

The Scottish Government uses the data internally to monitor the performance of its workforce. Other expected users of the data are likely to include the general public and media for information about the Scottish Government, and other government departments for comparative purposes.

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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