Publication - Statistics

Public sector employment in Scotland: statistics for fourth quarter 2019

Published: 17 Mar 2020
Directorate:
Chief Economist Directorate
Part of:
Statistics, Work and skills
ISBN:
9781839606410

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 December 2019.

34 page PDF

1.0 MB

34 page PDF

1.0 MB

Contents
Public sector employment in Scotland: statistics for fourth quarter 2019
1. Total Employment and Public and Private Sector Employment in Scotland; Headcount (see Table 1)

34 page PDF

1.0 MB

1. Total Employment and Public and Private Sector Employment in Scotland; Headcount (see Table 1)

Public sector employment increased by 9,730 (1.8%) between December 2018 and December 2019, while private sector employment decreased by 0.9%. This increase in public sector employment is mainly due to an increase in the devolved public sector.

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

UK National Accounts Classifications Guide.

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

Figure 1: Public and Private Sector Employment in Scotland as at December 2019
Figure 1: Public and Private Sector Employment in Scotland as at December 2019

Source: Public Sector Employment in Scotland, Quarter 4 2019

Chart 1: Public Sector Employment in Scotland between March 1999 and December 2019, Headcount, non-seasonally adjusted
Chart 1: Public Sector Employment in Scotland between March 1999 and December 2019, Headcount, non-seasonally adjusted

Source: Public Sector Employment in Scotland, Quarter 4 2019

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 from Q4 2018 onwards. Excluding the effects of major reclassifications[2] (i.e. taking out the headcounts for all large organisations listed in footnote 2 from the overall numbers), the number of people employed in the public sector gradually reached a peak in Q2 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 rose by 9,730 between Q4 2018 and Q4 2019. The devolved public sector headcount has risen due to increases in local government, NHS and devolved civil service (e.g. inclusion of Social Security Scotland from Q3 2018 and Forestry and Land Scotland and Scottish Forestry from Q2 2019 in Scottish Government Agencies and increases in Scottish Government Core Directorates (see section 5 for more detail)).

The annual change in Chart 2 prior to Q3 2019 shows the effects of Registered Social Landlords being re-classified to the private sector, while the large change in Q3 2019 includes the effects of Cordia services moving back under Glasgow City Council Services in 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 2019

Impact of Excluding Major Reclassifications from Public Sector

If the major reclassifications2 were to be excluded from the public sector series (i.e. the headcounts for all large organisations listed in footnote 2 were taken out of the overall numbers), there would be around 546,000 people employed in the public sector in December 2019. This was 20.7% of the total employment in Scotland compared with 21.3% if major reclassifications are included.

Public sector employment, excluding the effects of the major reclassifications, would be around 7,000 (1.2%) higher in December 2019 compared with December 2018.

Chart 3 below shows that the overall public sector in Scotland increased by 9,730 (1.8%) between December 2018 and December 2019. Chart 3 also shows the estimated impact of removing major reclassifications from the series.

Chart 3: Annual Change (from December 2018 to December 2019) in Public Sector Employment, Headcount
Chart 3: Annual Change (from December 2018 to December 2019) in Public Sector Employment, Headcount

Source: Public Sector Employment in Scotland, Quarter 4 2019

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


Contact

Email: lmstats@gov.scot