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.

About this publication

This publication highlights key statistics for Scotland's labour market. Data is from the ONS Annual Population Survey for January to December 2021.

We present information for key indicators including: employment, unemployment, and economic inactivity. Also included are breakdowns by protected characteristics including: age, sex, disability, and ethnicity.

Where possible we provide data for each individual year and local authority area. Supporting tables provide this breakdown for all indicators.

The Annual Population Survey

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is the main source for headline labour market indicators at Scotland level. However, the Annual Population Survey (APS) is the primary source for information on local labour markets. It combines results from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) with the English, Welsh and Scottish LFS boosted samples. This provides a larger annual sample of households. Compared with the quarterly LFS, the annual data is statistically more robust. Estimates for local areas and smaller populations are more accurate as a result.

The Scottish Government funds the boost to the LFS sample in Scotland. This takes the sample size from approximately 4,000 households to 13,000 households for the latest time periods.

The LFS and the APS are sample surveys. As such, these estimates are subject to an associated sampling error that decreases as the sample size increases. It is the nature of sampling variability that the smaller a group is the (proportionately) less precise an estimate is.

We provide results for the calendar years 2004 to 2021, unless otherwise stated. They are based on the data released by ONS on 13 September 2022.

ONS also release quarterly data covering the periods April to March, July to June, and October to September. Data from these time periods is not included within this publication.

Important note:

In July 2022 and September 2022, APS responses for periods April 2019 to March 2020 onwards were reweighted using updated HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Real Time Information (RTI) data. The ONS published an article providing further information on the reweighting exercise.

The UK Government and Scottish Government introduced policies in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these policies were still in place during the period of the latest APS estimates. The impact of these policies are likely to be seen in the estimates.

Estimates for 16 to 24 year olds may differ from those previously published. More timely estimates for the period April 2021 to March 2022 are available for 16 to 24 year olds in the Scottish Government's Labour market statistics for 16 to 24 year olds: Scotland and UK publication.

Data from the APS was first provided in 2004. In addition to estimates for 2021, this publication includes trends over time. There are also estimates of the 32 local authority areas within Scotland.

We compare the current estimates with the year before (January to December 2020) or January to December 2019. January to December 2019 represents the last calendar year of data before the COVID-19 pandemic.



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