Economic Report on Scottish Agriculture 2011 Edition

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Labour ( Tables C19- C22 and charts C16-C17)

There were a total of 67,604 people working on agricultural holdings at 1st June 2010. This was made up of 27,784 (41%) working occupiers, 13,167 (19%) working spouses, 14,184 (21%) full time regular staff, 6,596 (10%) part time regular staff and 5,873 (9%) casual and seasonal staff.

Total workforce

Over half the total agricultural workforce was located in Grampian (11,291 or 17%), Highland (10,113 or 15%), Tayside (8,370 or 12%) and Dumfries and Galloway (6,822 or 10%). These totals represent the number of people employed or working on 1st June 2010, but do not take into account differing working patterns.

Chart C16: Distribution of the workforce by regional grouping, June 2010

Chart C16: Distribution of the workforce by regional grouping, June 2010

Occupiers and spouses

Around 53% of holdings in Scotland have a working occupier (27,784) while 25% have a working spouse (13,167). For working occupiers this ranges from 46% in Eileanan an Iar to 67% in Shetland and for working spouses from 15% in Eileanan an Iar to 32% in Dumfries and Galloway. It should be noted however, that if an occupier or spouse was working on more than one holding, then they would only be recorded against one of these holdings.

In terms of the total workforce, occupiers and spouses make up 61% of the total in Scotland. This percentage is lower in areas that rely more heavily on employed labour, such as Tayside (34%), Fife (39%) and Lothian (41%), but higher in areas such as Highland (76%), Orkney (77%), Shetland (88%) and Eileanan an Iar (91%) where there is less reliance on employed labour.

Regular employees

There was a total of 20,780 regular employees (excluding occupiers and spouses) on agricultural holdings (14,184 full-time and 6,596 part-time) in Scotland in 2010. As with total workforce, Chart C16 shows that over half regular employees were in Grampian (3,404 or 16%), Tayside (2,717 or 13%) Dumfries & Galloway (2,715 or 13%) and Highland (2,064 or 10%).

Casual and seasonal staff

Of the total 5,873 casual and seasonal staff in Scotland, just under half (48% or 2,837) were located in Tayside. In comparison to the total workforce there was a high proportion of casual and seasonal staff in Tayside (34%) and Fife (22%), supporting the seasonal demand for harvesting fruit and vegetables.

Age and working pattern of occupiers and spouses

Table C20 shows the age and working pattern for working occupiers and spouses. It can be seen that 34% of occupiers (9,846) work full time on the holding while the other 66% (18,298) work part time. In comparison only 14% of spouses (1,855) work full time while 86% (11,312) work part time.

Regarding the age of occupiers, chart C17 shows that over half (55% or 15,191) are 55 years old or older and only 10% (2,891) are under 41 years old. Spouses tend to be younger with less than half being 55 or over (47% or 6,235).

Chart C17: Age of occupiers and spouses, June 2010

Chart C17: Age of occupiers and spouses, June 2010

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