Public sector employment in Scotland: statistics for third quarter 2020

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 September 2020.

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4. Reserved Public Sector Employment in Scotland; Headcount (see Table 4)

The number of people employed in the reserved public sector in September 2020 was 54,300, which is 2,720 (4.8%) lower than in September 2019.

The reserved public sector employment includes:

  • Reserved Civil Service (see section 5);
  • Armed Forces;
  • Other Public Sector (which covers Public Sector Financial Institutions, Non-Departmental Bodies and Other Bodies).

Chart 5 shows the size of each group in the reserved public sector as at September 2020.

Chart 5: Breakdown of Reserved Public Sector Employment by Sector as at September 2020, Headcount
Chart 5 tree map of reserved Public Sector Employment showing relative size of public bodies

Source: Public Sector Employment in Scotland, Quarter 3 2020

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

The decrease in the overall headcount in the reserved public sector was due to:

  • Employment levels for Other Public Sector[5] falling by 2,430 (10.7%) from 22,800 in September 2019 to 20,300 in September 2020;
  • Employment levels for the Reserved Civil Service falling by 430
    (1.7%) to 24,100;


  • Employment levels for the Armed Forces increased by 130 (1.3%) to 9,800.
Figure 4: Percentage Change (from September 2019 to September 2020) in the Reserved Public Sector, Headcount
Figure 4 bubble chart showing percentage annual change for reserved Public Sector bodies



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