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Scottish Employer Perspectives Survey 2021: Technical Report

Technical report for the 2021 Scottish Employer Perspectives Survey.


Using the survey for analysis

Reporting

The headline results from the survey are available in an Official Statistics Publication on the Scottish Government website. Background data accompanying the Official Statistics Publication can also be found on the Scottish Government website. Accompanying 'Background Tables' include underlying data used in the report.

As this is the first EPS in the series to be undertaken since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, comparisons with previous waves should be done with this in mind.

Sampling error and statistical confidence

Sampling errors for the survey results overall and for key sub-groups are presented in Table 10. Figures have been based on a survey result of 50% (the 'worst' case in terms of statistical reliability) and have used a 95% confidence level. Where the table indicates that a survey result based on all respondents has a sampling error of ±3.09%, this should be interpreted as follows: 'for a question asked of all respondents where the survey result is 50%, we are 95% confident that the true figure lies within the range 46.91% to 53.09%'.

As a note, the calculation of sampling error has taken into account the finite population correction factor to account for cases where we are measuring a significant portion of the population universe (i.e. even if two sample sizes are the same, the sampling error will be lower if in one case a far higher proportion of the population was covered).

These confidence intervals are based on the assumptions of random probability sampling and a normal distribution of responses.

Table 10: Sampling error (at the 95% confidence level) associated with findings of 50%
Survey group Population Number of interviews (Maximum) Sampling Error
Overall 149,200 1,000 ± 3.09
2 to 4 75,100 222 ± 6.57
5 to 9 33,600 242 ± 6.28
10 to 24 24,400 231 ± 6.42
25 to 49 8,500 142 ± 8.16
50 to 99 4,300 80 ± 10.85
100+ 3,300 83 ± 10.62
Primary sector and utilities 13,200 70 ± 11.68
Manufacturing 7,000 61 ± 12.49
Construction 13,600 65 ± 12.13
Trade, accommodation and transport 49,000 357 ± 5.17
Business and other services 48,700 281 ± 5.83
Non-market services 17,800 166 ± 7.57
Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire 16,500 101 ± 9.72
Ayrshire 8,900 42 ± 15.09
Borders 4,300 21 ± 21.34
Dumfries and Galloway 5,800 47 ± 14.24
Edinburgh and Lothians 19,800 116 ± 9.07
Fife 8,200 45 ± 14.57
Forth Valley 7,400 65 ± 12.10
Glasgow 21,100 139 ± 8.29
Highlands and Islands 19,000 164 ± 7.62
Lanarkshire 16,600 92 ± 10.19
Tayside 12,000 93 ± 10.12
West 9,400 65 ± 12.11
West Lothian 4,000 38 ± 15.82

Note: due to overlap between some ROAs, the sum of the number of interviews across the ROAs will exceed the total number of interviews. Population data is taken from the 2021 Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) ‒ the latest available business population statistics published by ONS at the time of reporting.

Explaining variation between sub-groups in the report

Table 10shows the total number of interviews achieved across the entire sample. However, a number of measures are based only on a subsection of the sample. For example, questions on the provision of training were only asked of establishments that had provided training for their staff in the last 12 months (817 unweighted establishments). Table 11 shows common subsample bases used in reporting and their respective base sizes, both at an overall level and split by sizeband. Lower sample sizes increase the maximum sampling error, as shown in Table 10.

Table 11: Interviews achieved across key measures and by sizeband
Base measure Total 2 to 4 5 to 9 10 to 24 25 to 49 50 to 99 100+
All establishments 1,000 222 242 231 142 80 83
All establishments with vacancies 699 60 152 196 132 78 81
All establishments who recruited anybody in the last 12 months 644 49 127 184 127 77 80
All establishments who have taken on education leavers 458 48 84 118 87 54 67
All establishments offering work experience 339 39 67 92 52 41 48
All establishments providing training in the past 12 months 817 124 187 218 128 77 83

Contact

Email: FHEstatistics@gov.scot

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