Scotland's Labour Market: People, Places and Regions – Protected Characteristics. Statistics from the Annual Population Survey 2021
Summary publication of results from the ONS Annual Population Survey January to December 2021, presenting analysis on the labour market by protected characteristics including age, sex, disability and ethnicity.
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Between 2019, the last calendar year prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, and 2021, the employment rate (16 to 64 years) has decreased while the unemployment rate (16 years and over) and economic inactivity rate (16 to 64 years) have increased.
Differences in labour market measures remain across regions and amongst different groups of the population who experience disadvantage such as disabled people and minority ethnic groups.
- 2,601,800 people (aged 16 and over) were estimated to be in employment in Scotland. The employment rate (16 to 64 year olds) was estimated at 73.2 per cent. This is lower than in 2019 (74.8 per cent) and below the UK rate of 74.7 per cent.
- 105,700 people (aged 16 and over) were estimated to be unemployed in Scotland. The unemployment rate (16 years and over) was estimated at 3.9 per cent. This is higher than in 2019 (3.5 per cent) and below to the UK rate of 4.4 per cent.
- 815,200 people (aged 16 to 64) were estimated to be economically inactive in Scotland. The economic inactivity rate (16 to 64 year olds) was estimated at 23.8 per cent. This is higher than in 2019 (22.5 per cent) and above the UK rate of 21.7 per cent.
- The employment rate for men was estimated at 75.8 per cent in 2021. The employment rate (16 to 64 year olds) for women was lower, estimated at 70.7 per cent in 2021.
- The gender employment gap (which measures the difference between the employment rates for men and women) was estimated at 5.1 percentage points in 2021. This is lower than the gap in 2019 (6.3 percentage points). The reduction was driven by a greater reduction in the employment rate for men compared with women.
- In 2021, men were estimated to have higher employment rates than women in 23 local authorities. In the remaining nine local authorities, women had higher employment rates than men.
- The employment rate has decreased between 2019 and 2021 for all age groups, except for those aged 25 to 34 years.
Age and Sex
- the employment rate for men was higher than the rate for women for all age groups, except those aged 16 to 24.
- 11.5 per cent of people aged 16 to 24 were not in employment, education or training (NEET). This is lower than a year ago (12.4 per cent) but is still higher than in 2019 (10.3 per cent). 12.8 per cent of men aged 16 to 24 and 10.2 per cent of women aged 16 to 24 were NEET.
- In 2021, the employment rate for disabled people was estimated at 49.6 per cent. This is significantly lower than the rate for non-disabled people (80.8 per cent). The disability employment gap was 31.2 percentage points in 2021. This is lower than the gap in 2019 (32.6 percentage points).
- The employment rate for the minority ethnic group aged 16 to 64 was estimated at 62.1 per cent in 2021. This is significantly lower than the rate for the white group (73.9 per cent). The ethnicity employment rate gap was 11.7 percentage points in 2021. This is lower than the gap in 2019 (16.4 percentage points).
1. All statistics and charts presented in this publication are sourced from the Annual Population Survey January to December datasets produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), unless otherwise stated.
2. Map data: Reproduced by permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of HMSO. © Crown copyright and database right 2022. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024655.
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