Scotland's Labour Market: People, Places and Regions - Statistics from the Annual Population Survey 2020/21

Summary publication of results from the Annual Population Survey 2020/21, presenting analysis on the labour market, education and training.

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What you need to know

When interpreting results, particularly comparing time periods, users should be aware of the potential effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This release covers the period up to April 2020 to March 2021, representing the year following the start of the pandemic which included furloughed employees and self-employed workers who made claims through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. See article Coronavirus and the effects on the UK labour market statistics for a fuller explanation of the impact of these schemes.

Employers were able to claim Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) support for employees furloughed from the 1st of March 2020. Applying the guidance on measuring labour market statistics, employees who are furloughed are classified as employed, but temporarily away from work. This will mean that, all things being equal, furloughed workers will not reduce the number of people in employment (or the employment rate). However, the scheme will lead to an increase in the number of employees working no hours and an overall reduction in the number of hours worked. There may be a compensating effect if employees on furlough take other employment, which can be detected from the increase in the number of people with second jobs.

The expected impact of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) in labour market statistics is that people will remain as self-employed, but may class themselves as temporarily away from work and record no hours of employment. However, as under the terms of the scheme, they can continue to work or take on other employment, their labour market status and number of hours worked may change during the scheme's lifespan.

There is variation in the take-up of these schemes and the impact of COVID-19 across local authorities.

HMRC Official Statistics showed that, by the 16th of August 2021, a total of 910,100 jobs in Scotland have been put on furlough for at least part of the duration of the scheme. There were 116,500 employments on furlough on the 31st July 2021, a decrease from 143,000 on 30th of June 2021. The rate of furlough was 5 per cent overall and was slightly higher (6 per cent) in some local authorities and lower in others (3 per cent).

UK wide furlough peaked at the start of May 2020. For claims received up to the 30th of June 2020, statistics show that 736,500 employments had been furloughed in Scotland for at least part of the duration of the scheme, giving a furlough rate of 30 per cent.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Official Statistics show that by the 15th August 2021 for Scotland, across all 5 SEISS grants, there had been 601,000 claims made for all SEISS grants to a total 175,000 individuals. The highest number of individual claimants across the country were in Glasgow City (18,900) and City of Edinburgh (16,900).

Latest statistics

The data presented in this publication is for the period April 2020 to March 2021. This reflects the various key measures in the full year following the pandemic. The results from the Annual Population Survey provide greater precision for smaller estimates, however are not as up to date as more recent statistics from HMRC PAYE RTI payrolled employee estimates (August 2021) and the Labour Force Survey (May to July 2021).

The Latest statistics show the labour market continuing to recover, with the number of payrolled employees showing increases in recent months. Since the start of the pandemic, analysis using the Labour Force Survey shows the employment rate has generally decreased while the unemployment rate has increased, however, since the end of 2020 both have shown signs of recovery.



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