Public sector employment in Scotland: statistics for first quarter 2017

Employment snapshot statistics based on administrative records and surveys of individual public sector bodies as at June 2016.

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 1,370 (-0.3%) over the last year, from 488,100 in Q1 2016 to 486,800 in Q1 2017. Chart 4 shows the composition of the devolved public sector as at Q1 2017.

Chart 4: Breakdown of Devolved Public Sector Employment by Category, Headcount, Q1 2017

Chart 4: Breakdown of Devolved Public Sector Employment by Category, Headcount, Q1 2017

Source: Public Sector Employment in Scotland, Quarter 1 2017

Note: Totals may not equal the sum of the individual parts due to rounding

Over the year:

Employment in Scottish Local Government decreased by 2,160 (-0.9%) over the year to 242,100 in Q1 2017. This is partly due to staff transferring to external organisations which are not part of the public sector.

Employment in the NHS increased by 940 (+0.6%) over the year to 162,600 in Q1 2017. A detailed breakdown on this information by staffing group was published by ISD on the 6 th June 2017:

The number of Police and Fire Service employees decreased by 350 (-1.2%), from 28,200 in Q1 2016 to 27,800 in Q1 2017.

The devolved civil service saw an increase of 80 (+0.5%) in employment between Q1 2016 and Q1 2017.

Employment in other public bodies increased by 100 (+0.6%) to 15,400 in Q1 2017.

Employment in Further Education colleges decreased by 220 (-1.6%) to 14,000 in Q1 2017.

Employment in public corporations increased by 240 (+3.2%) over the year to Q1 2017, increasing from 7,600 in Q1 2016 to 7,900 in Q1 2017.


Email: Thomas Pennock

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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