Public sector employment in Scotland: statistics for first quarter 2016

Statistics based on administrative records and surveys of individual public sector bodies.

3. Devolved Public Sector Employment in Scotland; Headcount (see Table 4)

The devolved public sector includes:

  • Devolved Civil Service (see section 5);
  • Local Government, covering Scottish Local Authorities, Police and Fire Services (up to Q1 2013), Valuation Joint Boards and Regional Transport Partnerships;
  • Police and Fire Services (Q2 2013 onwards)
  • NHS in Scotland;
  • Further Education Colleges;
  • Devolved Public Corporations;
  • Other Devolved Public Bodies (which covers Non-Departmental Bodies and other bodies).

The number of people employed in the devolved public sector has decreased by 1,900 (-0.4%) over the last year, from 490,100 in Q1 2015 to 488,200 in Q1 2016. Chart 4 shows the composition of the devolved public sector as at Q1 2016.

Chart 4: Breakdown of Devolved Public Sector Employment by Category, Headcount, Q1 2016

Chart 4: Breakdown of Devolved Public Sector Employment by Category, Headcount, Q1 2016

Over the year:

Employment in Scottish Local Government decreased by 4,200 (-1.7%) over the year to 244,300 in Q1 2016. This is mainly due to staff transferring to arms' length external organisations ( ALEOs) which are not part of the public sector. On 1 st 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 on 2 nd July 2015 and on 1 st December 2015, 344 staff transferred from Angus Council to Angus Alive.

Employment in the NHS increased by 900 (+0.6%) over the year to 161,700 in Q1 2016. A detailed breakdown on this information by staffing group was published by ISD on the 7 th June 2016:

The number of Police and Fire Service employees decreased by 300 (-0.9%), from 28,400 in Q1 2015 to 28,200 in Q1 2016.

The devolved civil service saw a decrease of 600 (-3.3%) in employment between Q1 2015 and Q1 2016.

Employment in Further Education colleges increased by 400 (+3.2%) to 14,200 in Q1 2016.

Employment in public corporations increased by 400 (+6.1%) over the year to Q1 2016, increasing from 7,200 in Q1 2015 to 7,600 in Q1 2016.

Over the year, employment in other public bodies increased by 1,300 (9.5%). This was mainly due to the creation of Historic Environment Scotland, a non-departmental public body.


Email: Claire Gordon

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