- In 2017, 2,618,100 people (aged 16 years and over) were in employment in Scotland, the highest level on record. The employment rate was also the highest on record at 74.3 per cent, although this is below the UK rate of 74.7 per cent.
- The gap in the employment rate of the top 3 and bottom 3 performing local authorities in Scotland increased by 1.1 percentage point over the year to 16.5 percentage points in 2017.
- Since 2007, the employment rate had increased in 18 local authorities, decreased in 13 and remained constant in 1.
- The gender employment gap (which measures the difference between the employment rates for men and women) has decreased from 10.6 percentage points in 2007 to 6.9 percentage points in 2017.
- The employment rate for young people (aged 16-24 years) had increased in the last year to 59.4 per cent in employment.
Types of employment
- Full-time employment reached a record in 2017 with 1,910,600 people in full-time employment.
- 322,900 people in employment were self-employed, close to the highest level since the series began. Women account for an increased share of self-employment accounting for 26.8 per cent of all employment in 2004 and 34.0 per cent in 2017.
- 8.0 per cent of employees reported hours based underemployment, down from 10.0 per cent in 2012 and down from 8.4 per cent in 2016.
- 8.5 per cent of people aged 16-19 years were not in employment, education or training in 2017, a decrease of 2.2 percentage points from 2016* and a decrease of 4.7 percentage points from the peak in 2010* (13.2 per cent).
- 84,700 people aged 65 years and over were in employment in Scotland in 2017, almost twice as many as ten years ago. The most common reason for working past 65 years was being ‘Not ready to stop working’ reported by 55.8 per cent.
- In 2017, the employment rate for those classed as disabled under the Equality Act 2010 was 45.4 per cent which was lower than the employment rate for those not classed as disabled (81.2 per cent). In 2017, the employment rate gap was 35.8 percentage points.**
- The employment rate for the minority ethnic population aged 16-64 was 60.6 per cent, lower than the white population with an employment rate of 75.0 per cent giving a gap in employment rate between minority ethnic and white aged 16 to 64 years of 14.4 percentage points.
* statistically significant
** ONS advise data on disability should be used with some caution.
- Scotland has a highly qualified workforce. 48.4 per cent of workers aged 16-64 years in Scotland have further or higher education qualifications ( SVQ level 4+ or equivalent).
- The employment rate for those aged 16-64 years, who hold further or higher education qualifications ( SVQ level 4+ or equivalent) at 82.3 per cent in 2017, was higher than for those with low or no qualifications (50.5 per cent) and also higher than for those with Intermediate 2/Higher level or equivalent qualifications (71.8 per cent).
- 35.6 per cent of workers in Scotland aged 25-64 years in 2017 were graduates, close to the highest on record.
- In 2017, 111,200 people (aged 16 years and over) were unemployed in Scotland, the lowest level on record. The unemployment rate was also the lowest on record at 4.1 per cent, below the UK rate of 4.4 per cent.
- In 2017, 45,500 women (aged 16 years and over) were unemployed in Scotland, the lowest level on record. The unemployment rate for women was also the lowest on record at 3.5 per cent.
- Since 2007, model-based unemployment rates have decreased in 23 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities.
- The unemployment rate for young people (aged 16-24 years) has decreased over the last year to 9.2 per cent.
- 46.1 per cent of unemployed people in Scotland have been unemployed for 6 months or more.
- In 2017, 768,900 people (aged 16-64) were economically inactive in Scotland, an increase of 15,100 since 2007. The economic inactivity rate has increased slightly since 2007 to 22.5 per cent, higher than the UK rate of 21.8 per cent.
- The slight increase in the overall economic inactivity rate since 2007 was driven by men, increasing from 16.5 per cent in 2007 to 18.4 per cent in 2017.
- The inactivity rate for women decreased from 28.1 per cent in 2007 to 26.5 per cent in 2017.
- Since 2007, economic inactivity rates have decreased in 14 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities with 16 increasing.
- Economic inactivity rates have increased for those aged 16-24 and 35-49 since 2007, while the rates have been decreasing for those aged 50-64.
- Over 50 per cent of economically inactive people in Scotland were inactive due to being long-term sick or students.
- 23.7 per cent (182,400) of economically inactive people aged 16-64 in Scotland would like a job, decreasing from 24.6 per cent in 2007.
- In 2017, 152,000 people in Scotland aged 16 years and over had never worked (excluding students aged 16-24 in full-time education), an increase of 21,100 since 2007.