Public Sector Employment In Scotland Statistics For 2nd Quarter 2021

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 June 2021.

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 10,060 (1.9%) higher at 527,700 in June 2021 compared with 517,600 in June 2020.

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 June 2021. 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 June 2021, Headcount

tree map of devolved Public Sector Employment showing relative size of public bodies

Source: Public Sector Employment in Scotland, Quarter 2 2021

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

The increase over the year in the overall devolved public sector headcount was due to:

  • Employment levels in the NHS increasing by 6,460 (3.8%) to 178,000 in June 2021[5];
  • Employment in the Devolved Civil Service increasing by 1,310 (6.2%) to 22,700 in June 2021[6]; and
  • Employment in Scottish Local Government increasing by 3,750 (1.5%) to 257,000 in June 2021;


  • Employment in Public Corporations decreased by -580 (-4.3%) to 13,000 in June 2021;
  • Employment in the Police and Fire Services decreased by -20 (-0.1%) to 28,200 in June 2021;
  • Employment in Further Education Colleges fell by -420 (-3.1%) to 13,400 in June 2021; and
  • Employment in Other Public Bodies fell by -430 (-2.7%) to 15,400 in June 2021.
Figure 3: Percentage Change (from June 2020 to June 2021) in the Devolved Public Sector, Headcount

bar chart showing annual percentage change for Devolved Public Sector bodies



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