About this publication
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). This is a snapshot of employment as at March 2022.
The publication includes information on public sector employment in Scotland with distinctions made for employment in devolved bodies and reserved bodies (located in Scotland). Annual information is also included in this publication for the number of people aged 16 to 24 who are employed in the devolved public sector in Scotland.
The public sector is defined based on UK National Accounts definitions. The statistics in this release (excluding the devolved public sector employment statistics for 16 to 24 year olds) were designated National Statistics in December 2009.
Revision: For estimates of the total and private sector employment, this publication uses data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS). This data was recently reweighted for periods from January to March 2020 onwards using updated HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Real Time Information (RTI) data, resulting in small revisions to the total and private sector employment numbers from Q1 2020 onwards.
An outline of major reclassifications which have taken place in the Scottish public sector since 2013 are summarised at: about Public Sector Employment statistics - classifications
A separate public sector series excluding the effects of these major reclassifications has been included in this publication to show the impact of the reclassifications on the number of people employed in the public sector.
More information is available on the Public Sector Employment Web Section.
National Accounts Classifications
An outline of National Accounts classifications which have taken place in the Scottish public sector since 2015 are summarised at: about Public Sector Employment statistics - classifications
Public Sector Employment Web section
The Public Sector Employment Web section provides additional information to this National Statistics publication:
It contains detailed information including:
- Local government employment by local authority for the current quarter. A time series of total local government employment from Q1 1999 and by gender from Q1 2011.
- 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.
Public Sector Employment for Government Office Regions and Nations of the UK can be found in the Office for National Statistics (ONS) publication.
Comparisons to UK data should be made using non-seasonally adjusted UK data.
See the regional tables published by ONS at:
Statistics prior to Q1 2008 are estimates. These have been calculated using the total UK reserved public sector employment figure and applying to Scotland on a pro-rata basis as regional level data has only been collected from Q1 2008 onwards.
Background notes about the information contained in our PSE series are available at the following web section: about Public Sector Employment statistics - background notes
Devolved and Reserved Civil Service Tables
Tables and commentary on the devolved and reserved civil service are not included in this summary. However, the full time series of data for the devolved and reserved civil service including Scottish Government, Scottish Government Agencies, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal and Non-Ministerial Departments are updated and published in our associated web tables (Tables 5 and 6 for headcount figures and Tables 12 and 13 for full-time equivalent figures): Public Sector Employment statistics web tables
Next Publication: September 2022
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