About this Publication
This publication highlights the key statistics for Scotland's labour market from the Annual Population Survey for April 2020 to March 2021.
Information is presented for key indicators including: employment, equality characteristics of those in employment, underemployment, unemployment, economic inactivity and youth participation in the labour market.
Data for each individual year and local authority where possible are provided in supporting tables for all indicators.
Access the data in this publication
Supporting data for all indicators at local authority level are available in the publication based on January 2020 to December 2020 data: Scotland's Labour Market- People Places and Regions – Background Tables.
Data referred to in the publication are also available in workbook: Scotland's Labour Market- People Places and Regions – Charts
Annual Population Survey information is also made available on the Scottish Government Open Data Platform.
The Annual Population Survey
The Annual Population Survey (APS) is the primary source for information on local labour markets. It combines results from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and the English, Welsh and Scottish Labour Force Survey boosts. The boost increases the sample size in Scotland, which means the APS can provide more robust labour market estimates for local areas compared to the main LFS.
The Scottish Government funds the boost to the LFS sample in Scotland, taking the sample size from approximately 4,000 households to 13,000 households for the latest time periods.
Level and rates provided are estimates based on this household survey, therefore they are subject to sampling error. Confidence intervals which give an indication of the margin of error surrounding these estimates are provided in the background tables and charts published as part of this publication. Statistically significant changes are noted throughout the text.
It is noted in some places where estimates are not available due to the fact they are based on a sample of 2 or less individual responses or are less precise than other estimates due to the fact they are based on a sample of between 3 and 25 (inclusive) individual responses. Less precise estimates are marked with an * to indicate they are based on small sample sizes which may be less precise and should be used with caution. Measuring and reporting reliability of Labour Force Survey and Annual Population Survey estimates - Office for National Statistics.
Results are provided for the financial years (April to March) 2004/05 to 2020/21, unless otherwise stated, based on the data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on 18 August 2021.
ONS also release rolling quarterly datasets covering the periods January to December, July to June, and October to September. The data for these time periods have not been used or presented within the publication commentary, unless otherwise stated. However, the associated publication tables have been produced using the January-December periods to keep consistent with previous releases.
In August 2021, ONS Annual Population Survey (APS) responses for periods April 2019-March 2020 onwards have been weighted to new populations derived using growth rates from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Real Time Information (RTI) to allow for different trends during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This new weighting methodology gives improved estimates of both rates and levels following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to the ONS re-weighting exercise and delayed production of underlying data sets, the People, Places and Regions publication had been delayed from May 2021. This has allowed for the publication commentary and charts to be based on the April 2020-March 2021 period, a full year since Government policies related to the Coronavirus pandemic were introduced. The associated publication tables have still been published on January-December time periods to be consistent with previous releases.
The first data from the APS was provided in 2004. As well as providing updated estimates for 2020/21, this publication includes trends over time and gives some indication of the variation across the 32 local authority areas within Scotland.
Comparisons are usually made with the year before or 10 years before, and in some cases in the years following the highest point following the 2008 recession. This is the eighteenth publication of the series (known as Regional Employment Patterns prior to 2019).