Information

Scottish Employer Skills Survey 2020

Results from the Scottish Employer Skills Survey 2020.


Employer characteristics

The population of employers for the Scottish ESS 2020 included all establishments that had at least two people working at them (including owners and working proprietors). An "establishment" is a single site of an organisation, meaning interviews were carried out with an individual at each local office (rather than a single "head office" location with a respondent answering on behalf of the whole organisation). This reflects the fact that skills issues are felt most acutely at local level, and continues the approach taken by previous UK-wide ESS surveys dating back to 2011.

Figure 1 shows the profile of employers and of employment by size for this population. Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures estimate that in March 2020 there were 151,610 establishments in Scotland employing around 2.45 million people between them.[2]

The Scottish employer population is predominantly made up of small establishments: half of employers have fewer than 5 staff (50%) and a further two fifths have between 5 and 24 staff (39%). However, these smaller employers employ just 8% of the workforce and 24% of the workforce respectively. Employers with 100 or more staff make up 2% of establishments but employ 43% of the workforce.

Figure 1: Employer and employment profile by establishment size
Image showing employer and employment profile by establishment size.

Source: ONS Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR), March 2020

The largest sectors in the Scottish economy in terms of number of establishments are Business Services, and Wholesale and Retail (20% and 19% of all establishments, respectively); the smallest are Financial Services and Public Administration (both 2%).

In terms of employment, Health and Social Work (16% of the total workforce), Business Services (15%) and Wholesale and Retail (14%) are the largest sectors.

Figure 2: Employer and employment profile by sector
Chart showing employer and employment profile by sector.

Source: ONS Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR), March 2020

Contact

Email: FHEstatistics@gov.scot

Back to top