Scottish Public Sector Employment

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Public Sector Employment Statistics for Scotland released by Scotland’s Chief Statistician, show that there were 558,700 people employed in the public sector in Scotland in June 2019.

As of June 2019, public sector employment accounted for 21.0% of total employment in Scotland and private sector employment accounted for 79.0% of total employment.

There were 500,400 people employed in the devolved public sector in June 2019, a net decrease of 4,210 (-0.8%) since June 2018. There were increases in headcount in devolved civil service by 1,440 (+8.2%), other public bodies by 300 (+1.9%), further education colleges by 270 (+1.9%), NHS staff by 1,360 (+0.8%) and Police and Fire by 370 (+1.3%). There were also increases in headcount in local government by 6,810 (+2.8%), mainly due to Cordia services moving back under Glasgow City Council services. There were decreases in headcount in Public Corporations by 14,770 (-63.5%), mainly due to Registered Social Landlords being reclassified into the private sector.

The figures released 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 statistics in this release were designated National Statistics in December 2009.

The full National Statistics publication can be accessed at:

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, Q1 2017, Q1 2018 and Q1 2019

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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