Information

Public sector employment in Scotland: statistics for fourth quarter 2018

Snapshot of public sector employment up to December 2018.

This document is part of 2 collections


Summary

Summary infographic:

Summary infographic

Summary infographic: Overview of Public Sector Employment in Scotland as at December 2018, Headcount

  • In December 2018, there were 553,300 people employed in the public sector in Scotland, 1.2% less than in December 2017.
  • In December 2018, there were 2,096,500 people employed in the private sector in Scotland, 0.8% more than in December 2017.
  • Over the year, both the devolved public sector and reserved public sector headcount decreased.
  • 498,200 were employed in the devolved public sector in December 2018, 1.2% less than in December 2017.
  • Local Government and NHS employ the most employees in the devolved public sector.
  • In December 2018, in the devolved public sector, there were 250,000 people employed in Local Government, 163,800 employed in NHS, 27,800 employed in Police and Fire, 18,200 employed in Civil Service, 15,800 employed in Other Public Bodies, 14,000 employed in Further Education and 8,000 employed in Public Corporations.
  • Between December 2017 and December 2018, employment in the devolved public sector decreased in Public Corporations by 63.9% and increased in Further Education Colleges by 1.0%, the NHS by 0.2%, Other Public Bodies by 2.4%, Civil Service by 5.4%, Police and Fire Related Services by 0.8% and Local Government by 2.7%.
  • The large decrease (63.9%) in devolved public corporations is mainly due to Registered Social Landlords being reclassified to the private sector in Q3 2018. This explains the majority of the 1.2% decrease in public sector employment headcount.
  • 55,100 people in the public sector were employed in the reserved public sector in Scotland in December 2018, 1.4% less than in December 2017.
  • Civil Service employ the most employees in the reserved public sector.
  • In December 2018, in the reserved public sector, there were 24,500 people employed in Civil Service, 10,300 employed in Public Corporations and Public Sector Financial, 10,300 employed in Public Bodies and 9,900 employed in Armed Forces.
  • Between December 2017 and December 2018, employment within the reserved public sector decreased in Public Corporations & Public Sector Financial Institutions by 5.6%, in the Armed Forces by 0.3% and in the Civil Service by 2.7% and increased in Public Bodies by 5.2%.

Key points (based on headcount data) include:

  • In December 2018, there were 553,300 people employed in the public sector in Scotland, accounting for 20.9% of total employment.
  • Between December 2017 and December 2018, employment in the public sector was 6,860 less than in December 2017. This is mainly due to Registered Social Landlords, often described as housing associations, being reclassified to the private sector from Q3 2018 onwards.
  • When major reclassifications are excluded, the public sector increased between December 2017 and December 2018 by 8,590 (1.6%)[1]. This change is mainly due to Cordia services moving back under Glasgow City Council services.
  • Of the total 553,300 people employed in the public sector in Scotland, 90.0% were employed in the devolved public sector.
  • 498,200 were employed in the devolved public sector in December 2018, 6,050 (1.2%) less than in December 2017[2].
  • Between December 2017 and December 2018, employment in the devolved public sector decreased in Public Corporations by 14,770 (63.9%)[3] and increased in Further Education Colleges by 140 (1.0%), the NHS by 400 (0.2%), Other Public Bodies by 380 (2.4%) and Civil Service by 930 (5.4%), Police and Fire Related Services by 230 (0.8%) and Local Government by 6,640 (2.7%)[4].
  • 55,100 (10.0%) people in the public sector were employed in the reserved public sector in Scotland, 800 (1.4%) less than in December 2017.
  • Between December 2017 and December 2018, employment within the reserved public sector decreased in Public Corporations & Public Sector Financial Institutions by 610 (5.6%), in the Armed Forces by 30 (0.3%) and in the Civil Service by 670 (2.7%) and increased in Public Bodies by 510 (5.2%).

About this publication

Major Reclassifications

The estimates of public and private sector employment published in this month's release have been impacted by the reclassification of Scottish Registered Social Landlords, which are included in the private sector from September 2018 but are included in the public sector from September 2001 to June 2018. This reclassification has resulted in around 15,000 employees who were included in the public sector up until June 2018 being included in the private sector estimates for September 2018 onwards.

An outline of major reclassifications which have taken place in the Scottish public sector since 2013 are outlined here: https://www2.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Labour-Market/PublicSectorEmployment/PSEwebtables

A separate public sector series excluding the effects of major reclassifications has been included in this publication to show the impact of the reclassifications on the number of people employed in the public sector.

More information is available on the Public Sector Employment Web Section.

National Accounts Classifications

An outline of National Accounts classifications which have taken place in the Scottish public sector since 2015 are outlined here: https://www2.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Labour-Market/PublicSectorEmployment/PSEwebtables

Public Sector Employment Web section

The Public Sector Employment Web section provides additional information to this National Statistics publication http://www2.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Labour-Market/PublicSectorEmployment

It contains detailed information including:

  • Employment levels for public bodies in Scotland for 16-24 year olds (Q1 2013, Q1 2014, Q1 2015, Q1 2016, Q1 2017 and Q1 2018).
  • Local government employment by local authority for the current quarter. A time series of total local government employment from Q1 1999 and by gender from Q1 2011.
  • Detailed tables showing a full time series of data - all quarters back to Q1 1999 - are also available to download.
  • Background notes outlining the methodology used to compile this series.

UK Comparisons

Public Sector Employment for Government Office Regions and Nations of the UK can be found in the Office for National Statistics Publication.

Comparisons to UK data should be made using non-seasonally adjusted UK data.

See the regional tables at http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/pse/public-sector-employment/index.html.

Background Notes

Statistics prior to Q1 2008 are estimates. These have been calculated using the total UK reserved public sector employment figure and applying to Scotland on a pro-rata basis as regional level data has only been collected from Q1 2008 onwards.

Background notes about the information contained in our PSE series are available at the following web section: http://www2.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Labour-Market/PublicSectorEmployment/SourcesDef

Next Publication: June 2019

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