Public sector employment in Scotland: statistics for fourth quarter 2016

Statistics based on administrative records and surveys of individual public sector bodies.

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 1,780 (-0.4%) over the last year, from 487,700 in Q4 2015 to 485,900 in Q4 2016. Chart 4 shows the composition of the devolved public sector as at Q4 2016.

Chart 4: Breakdown of Devolved Public Sector Employment by Category, Headcount, Q4 2016
Chart 4: Breakdown of Devolved Public Sector Employment by Category, Headcount, Q4 2016

Source: Public Sector Employment in Scotland, Quarter 4 2016
Note: Totals may not equal the sum of the individual parts due to rounding

Over the year:

Employment in Scottish Local Government decreased by 2,880 (-1.2%) over the year to 241,900 in Q4 2016. This is partly due to staff transferring to external organisations which are not part of the public sector.

Employment in the NHS increased by 890 (+0.5%) over the year to 162,300 in Q4 2016. A detailed breakdown on this information by staffing group was published by ISD on the 7 th March 2017:

The number of Police and Fire Service employees decreased by 260 (-0.9%), from 28,200 in Q4 2015 to 27,900 in Q4 2016.

The devolved civil service saw an increase of 20 (+0.1%) in employment between Q4 2015 and Q4 2016.

Employment in other public bodies increased by 80 (+0.5%) to 15,300 in Q4 2016.

Employment in Further Education colleges decreased by 30 (-0.2%) to 13,900 in Q4 2016.

Employment in public corporations increased by 410 (+5.5%) over the year to Q4 2016, increasing from 7,400 in Q4 2015 to 7,800 in Q4 2016.


Email: Tom Pennock

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