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Public Sector Employment In Scotland Statistics For 1st Quarter 2022

Statistics 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.

This document is part of 2 collections


1. Total Employment and Public and Private Sector Employment in Scotland; Headcount

(see Table 1)

Public sector employment increased by 13,950 (2.4%) between March 2021 and March 2022. This increase in public sector employment is due to an increase in the devolved public sector.

The public sector is defined according to the UK National Accounts Classifications Guide

Figure 1 provides a summary of total employment in Scotland by public and private sector.

Figure 1: Public and Private [6] Sector Employment in Scotland as at March 2022

Source: Public Sector Employment in Scotland, Quarter 1 2022

Chart 1: Public Sector Employment in Scotland between March 1999 and March 2022, Headcount, non-seasonally adjusted

Source: Public Sector Employment in Scotland, Quarter 1 2022

Chart 1 shows that the number of people employed in the public sector remained relatively constant between Q1 2014 and Q2 2018, before falling in Q3 2018 and rising again from Q4 2018 onwards. Excluding the effects of major reclassifications[7] (i.e. taking out the headcounts for all large organisations listed in footnote 6 from the overall numbers), the number of people employed in the public sector gradually reached a peak in Q2 2006, decreased until Q3 2013 and remained relatively constant until Q3 2018. The increase between Q3 2018 and Q4 2018 is mainly due to Cordia services moving back under Glasgow City Council services and the series has continued to rise from Q4 2018 onwards.

Chart 2 shows the annual change in employment for the public sector. Employment increased by 13,950 (2.4%) between March 2021 and March 2022, driven by increases in the devolved public sector headcount. The devolved public sector headcount has mainly risen due to increases in the NHS, local government and the devolved Civil Service.

Chart 2: Annual Change in Employment for Public Sector, Headcount

Source: Public Sector Employment in Scotland, Quarter 1 2022

Impact of Excluding Major Reclassifications from Public Sector

If the major reclassifications6 were to be excluded from the public sector series (i.e. the headcounts for all large organisations listed in footnote 6 were taken out of the overall numbers), there would be around 575,000 people employed in the public sector in March 2022. This was 21.4% of the total employment in Scotland compared with 22.1% if major reclassifications are included.

Public sector employment, excluding the effects of the major reclassifications, would be around 14,000 (2.5%) higher in March 2022 compared with March 2021. This shows that the increase over the year is due to increases in substantive public sector organisations and is not overly influenced by reclassifications.

Contact

Email: LMStats@gov.scot

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