Public Sector Employment In Scotland Statistics For 4th Quarter 2021

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 2021.

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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 December 2021 was 55,200, which is 670 (1.2%) higher than in December 2020.

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 4 shows the size of each group in the reserved public sector as at December 2021. The reserved civil service employs the largest proportion of employees in the reserved public sector.

Chart 4: Breakdown of Reserved Public Sector Employment by Sector as at December 2021, Headcount
tree map of reserved Public Sector Employment showing relative size of public bodies

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

Source: Public Sector Employment in Scotland, Quarter 4 2021

The increase over the year in the overall reserved public sector headcount was due to:

  • Employment levels for the Reserved Civil Service increasing by 540 (2.2%) to 25,100 in December 2021; and
  • Employment levels for the Armed Forces increasing by 300 (3.1%) to 10,100 in December 2021;


  • Employment levels for Other Public Sector[9] decreased by -170 (-0.8%) to 20,000 in December 2021.
Figure 4: Percentage Change (from December 2020 to December 2021) in the Reserved Public Sector, Headcount
bar chart showing annual percentage change for reserved Public Sector bodies



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