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

3. Devolved Public Sector Employment in Scotland; Headcount

(see Table 3)

Employment in the devolved public sector was 14,150 (2.7%) higher at 538,700 in March 2022 compared with 524,500 in March 2021.

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).

Chart 3 shows the size of each group in the devolved public sector as at March 2022. Local Government and NHS employ the largest proportion of employees in the devolved public sector.

Chart 3: Breakdown of Devolved Public Sector Employment by Category as at March 2022, Headcount

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

Source: Public Sector Employment in Scotland, Quarter 1 2022

The increase over the year in the overall devolved public sector headcount was due to (all changes are given from March 2021 to March 2022):

  • Employment in Scottish Local Government increasing by 8,160 (3.2%) to 262,000;
  • Employment levels in the NHS increasing by 4,010 (2.3%) to 181,700[9];
  • Employment in the Devolved Civil Service increasing by 3,100 (13.9%) to 25,300 [10].
  • Employment in Further Education Colleges increased by 20 (0.1%) to 13,400;


  • Employment in the Police and Fire Services decreased by -490 (-1.7%) to 27,800;
  • Employment in Other Public Bodies decreased by -400 (-2.5%) to 15,300;
  • Employment in Public Corporations decreased by -270 (-2.0%) to 13,000.
Figure 3: Percentage Change (from March 2021 to March 2022) in the Devolved Public Sector, Headcount



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