Scottish Public Sector Employment

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Public Sector Employment Statistics for Scotland, released today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician, show that there were 559,900 people employed in the public sector in Scotland in Q4 2017.

In Q4 2017, public sector employment accounted for 21.4 per cent of total employment in the country and private sector employment accounted for 78.6 per cent of total employment in Scotland.

The devolved public sector saw a net increase of 2,390 (+0.5%) over the year. There were increases in headcount in Local Government by 720 (+0.3%), NHS staff by 1,140 (+0.7%), public corporations by 310 (+1.4%), other public bodies by 90 (+0.6%), and devolved civil service by 430 (+2.5%). There were decreases in Police and Fire by 270 (-1.0%) and further education college employees by 30 (-0.2%).

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.


View the full National Statistics publication.

In addition to the National Statistics publication there is also a Public Sector Employment Statistics Websection containing:

  • Local government staffing by local authority and gender.
  • Detailed tables showing a full-time series – all quarters back to Q1 1999.
  • Further information on youth employment levels (16-24) in the devolved public sector for Q1 2013, Q1 2014, Q1 2015, Q1 2016 and Q1 2017.

The data are not seasonally adjusted and therefore comparisons should only be made with the same quarter over time.

Devolved public bodies refer to public bodies which are the responsibility of the Scottish Government or Scottish Parliament. This includes the core Scottish Government and Agencies, Non-Ministerial Departments, Local Authorities, Police and Fire Services, NHS, Non-Departmental Public Bodies, Public Corporations and other significant national bodies. 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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