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


1. Total Employment and Public and Private Sector Employment in Scotland; Headcount

(see Table 1)

Public sector employment decreased by 6,860 (1.2%) between December 2017 and December 2018, while private sector employment increased by 0.8%. The decrease in public sector employment is mainly due to Registered Social Landlords being reclassified to the private sector, in the last year, as a result of changes to legislation.

When major reclassifications (such as Registered Social Landlords) are removed, public sector employment increased by 8,590 (1.6%). This increase is mainly due to Cordia services moving back under Glasgow City Council services.

The public sector is defined according to the UK National Accounts Classifications Guide.

Figure 1 provides a summary of total employment in Scotland and the breakdown of public and private sector employment.

Figure 1: Public and Private Sector Employment in Scotland as at December 2018

Figure 1: Public and Private Sector Employment in Scotland as at December 2018

Source: Public Sector Employment in Scotland, Quarter 4 2018

Chart 1: Public Sector Employment in Scotland between December 1999 and December 2018, Headcount, non-seasonally adjusted

Chart 1: Public Sector Employment in Scotland between December 1999 and December 2018, Headcount, non-seasonally adjusted

Source: Public Sector Employment in Scotland, Quarter 4 2018

Chart 1 shows that the number of people employed in the public sector remained relatively constant between Q1 2014 and Q2 2018, before falling in Q3 2018 and rising again in Q4 2018. Excluding the effects of major reclassifications[5] (i.e. taking out the headcounts for all large organisations listed in footnote 5 from the overall numbers), the number of people employed in the public sector gradually reached a peak in Q3 2006, decreased to Q3 2013 and remained relatively constant until Q3 2018. The increase between Q3 2018 and Q4 2018 is mainly due to Cordia services moving back under Glasgow City Council services.

Chart 2 shows the annual change in employment for the public sector. Employment fell by 6,860 between Q4 2017 and Q4 2018.

Chart 2: Annual Change in Employment for Public Sector, Headcount

Chart 2: Annual Change in Employment for Public Sector, Headcount

Source: Public Sector Employment in Scotland, Quarter 4 2018

Impact of Excluding Major Reclassifications from Public Sector

If the major reclassifications[5] were to be excluded from the public sector series (i.e. the headcounts for all large organisations listed in footnote 5 were taken out of the overall numbers), there would be around 541,000 people employed in the public sector in December 2018. This was 20.4% of the total employment in Scotland compared with 20.9% if major reclassifications are included.

Public sector employment, excluding the effects of the major reclassifications, would be 8,590 (1.6%) higher in December 2018 compared with December 2017. This is mainly due to Cordia services moving back under Glasgow City Council services.

The majority of major reclassifications are included in the reserved public sector in Scotland; their impact in this sector is covered in section 4 of the publication.

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