Public Sector Employment in Scotland Statistics for 1st Quarter 2012
The statistics in this release are based on administrative records and surveys of individual public sector bodies carried out by the Scottish Government and the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The publication includes information on public sector employment in Scotland with distinctions made for employment in devolved bodies and reserved bodies (located in Scotland).
Some of the key points are as follows: (based on headcount)
- In Q1 2012 there were 584,800 people employed in the public sector in Scotland, a decrease of 27,600 (4.5%) since Q1 2011.
- There were 2,453,000 people in employment in Scotland in Q1 2012 a decrease of 0.8% from 2,472,000 in Q1 2011. In Q1 2012 public sector employment accounted for 23.8% of total employment, down from 24.8% in Q1 2011 and down from 24.5% in Q1 1999 (In 1999 financial institutions were not included in the public sector).
- Of the total 584,800 people employed in the public sector in Scotland, 491,100 (84%) is accounted for by public sector employment devolved to Scotland and 93,700 (16 %) relates to reserved public sector employment.
- Total employment in the devolved public sector has decreased from 512,800 in Q1 2011 to 491,100 in Q1 2012, a decrease of 21,700 (4.2%) over the year. This has been driven by a decrease in local government employment and the civil service.
- Total local government employment decreased by 10,000 (3.4%) over the year to Q1 2012. Employment in the Civil Service decreased by 7,400 (30.9%). This is because in Q1 2011 employment in the Civil Service was significantly higher than usual due to the employment of 6,700 temporary census staff. If the census staff had not been included in Q1 2011 then employment would have decreased only by 700 (4.2%). Number of NHS staff decreased by 2,500 1.6%.
- Employment in the reserved public sector (located in Scotland) has decreased by 5,900 (5.9%) since Q1 2011. The is largely due to employment in Public Sector Financial Institutions (part of the reserved public sector) decreasing in the last year by 2,100 (6.1%).
- Within the reserved public sector, the civil service category decreased over the year by 1,700 (5.4%) to 29,900. This decrease included: Ministry of Defence decreasing by 900 (15.4%) and Department for Work and Pensions decreasing by 800 (7.1 %).
- If banks were not included in the series:
- Total public sector employment would have decreased by slightly less, 25,500 (4.4%), instead of 27,600 (4.5%) over the year.
- Employment in the reserved public sector in Scotland would have decreased by 3,800 (5.8%) instead of by 5,900 (5.9%) over the year.
N.B. Financial institutions are not included in the devolved public sector total.
Public Sector Employment websection
In addition to this National Statistics publication, there is also a Public Sector Employment Statistics websection -
This contains more detailed information including:
- Employment levels for public bodies in Scotland.
- Local government employment by local authority for the current quarter.
- A time series of total local government employment back to Q3 1999 shown for: police and related services and fire and related services separately.
- A time series of total local government employment back to Q1 2011 by gender
- Links to the UK Public Sector Employment Statistical Bulletin (which contains estimates of public sector employment across each government office region) and other related technical papers.
- Detailed tables showing a full time series of data - all quarters back to Q1 1999 - are also available to download.
- Background notes outlining the methodology used to compile this series.
Further methodology details can be found in background notes.
Key background note
As of the 1st November 2011, the NHS has responsibility for employing Healthcare staff within prisons. Previously, these staff were employed directly by the Scottish Prison Service (SPS). This has resulted in approximately 350 staff (headcount) transferring over to NHS. These staff are included in the NHS figures for 2011 Q4 for the first time. This should be considered when comparing trends across previous years.
For more information please see:
Email: Gayle Mackie
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