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 546,700 people employed in the public sector in Scotland in Q1 2016. This is similar to the level seen in Q1 2015.

In Q1 2016, public sector employment accounted for 21.3 per cent of total employment in the country and private sector employment accounts for 78.7 per cent of total employment in Scotland.

In Scotland, the devolved public sector saw a decrease of 1,900 (-0.4%). Over the year, decreases in the devolved public sector were seen in Police and Fire by 300 (-0.9%), Local Government by 4,200 (-1.7%) and devolved Civil Service by 600 (-3.3%) and increases were seen for college employees by 400 (+3.2%) and NHS staff by 900 (+0.6%).

In Q1 2016, there were 22,680 young people aged 16-24 in employment in the devolved public sector, accounting for 4.6% of total employment in this sector. This was similar to the number and proportion of young people in employment in the devolved public sector in Q1 2015.

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.

Notes to editors

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 the number of youth employment (16-24) in the devolved public sector for Q1 2013, Q1 2014, Q1 2015 and Q1 2016.

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.

Transfer of staff in local government to arms’ length external organisations (ALEOs):

On 1st April 2015, 754 staff transferred from Scottish Borders Council to SB Cares, 255 staff transferred from East Renfrewshire Council to East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure Limited in 2nd July 2015 and on 1st December 2015, 344 staff transferred from Angus Council to Angus Alive.

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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