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 September 2015. The publication includes information on public sector employment in Scotland with distinctions made for employment in devolved bodies and reserved bodies (located in Scotland).

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 increased by 500 (+0.1%) over the last year, from 487,100 in Q3 2014 to 487,600 in Q3 2015. Chart 4 shows the composition of the devolved public sector as at Q3 2015.

Chart 4: Breakdown of Devolved Public Sector Employment by Category, Headcount, Q3 2015


Over the year:

Employment in Scottish Local Government decreased by 1,500 (-0.6%) over the year to 244,800 in Q3 2015. This is mainly due to staff transferring to arms’ length external organisations (ALEOs) which are part of the private sector. On 1st April 2015, 883 staff transferred from Scottish Borders Council to SB Cares and 255 staff transferred from East Refrewshire Council to East Refrewshire Culture and Leisure Limited.

Employment in the NHS increased by 1,100 (+0.7%) over the year to 160,900 in Q3 2015. A detailed breakdown on this information by staffing group was published by ISD on the 1st December 2015.

The number of Police and Fire Service employees decreased by 500 (-1.9%), from 28,800 in Q3 2014 to 28,200 in Q3 2015.

The devolved civil service saw an increase of 700 (+4.2%) in employment between Q3 2014 and Q3 2015.

Employment in Further Education colleges increased by 400 (+2.9%) to 13,900 in Q3 2015.

Employment in public corporations increased by 200 (+2.3%) over the year to Q3 2015, increasing from 7,300 in Q3 2014 to 7,500 in Q3 2015.


Email: Claire Gordon

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