Public sector employment in Scotland: statistics for second quarter 2016

A view of public sector employment up to 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 1,470 (-0.3%) over the last year, from 488,200 in Q2 2015 to 486,700 in Q2 2016. Chart 4 shows the composition of the devolved public sector as at Q2 2016.

Chart 4: Breakdown of Devolved Public Sector Employment by Category, Headcount, Q2 2016

Chart 4: Breakdown of Devolved Public Sector Employment by Category, Headcount, Q2 2016

Over the year:

Employment in Scottish Local Government decreased by -2,920 (-1.2%) over the year to 242,900 in Q2 2016. This is partly due to staff transferring to arms' length external organisations ( ALEOs) which are not part of the public sector.

Employment in the NHS increased by 690 (+0.4%) over the year to 161,300 in Q2 2016. A detailed breakdown on this information by staffing group was published by ISD on the 6 th September 2016:

The number of Police and Fire Service employees decreased by 250 (-0.9%), from 28,300 in Q2 2015 to 28,100 in Q2 2016.

The devolved civil service saw a decrease of 1,020 (-5.7%) in employment between Q2 2015 and Q2 2016.

Over the year, employment in other public bodies increased by 1,470 (10.3%). This was mainly due to Historic Scotland (previously part of the devolved civil service) merging with the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (a non-departmental public body) to become Historic Environment Scotland, a non-departmental public body.

Employment in Further Education colleges increased by 230 (+1.7%) to 14,100 in Q2 2016.

Employment in public corporations increased by 330 (+4.4%) over the year to Q2 2016, increasing from 7,400 in Q2 2015 to 7,700 in Q2 2016.


Email: Claire Gordon,

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