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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

Employment Gaps in Scotland Narrowed since 2009

The gender employment gap, which measures the difference between the employment rates for men and women, has narrowed from 8.2 percentage points in 2009 to 6.3 percentage points last year.

The disability employment gap, which is the difference between the employment rates of disabled people and non-disabled people, was 32.6 percentage points – a drop on a year before when it was 35.5 percentage points.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician has published statistics on Scotland’s Labour Market: People, Places and Regions 2019. This publication presents estimates sourced from the Annual Population Survey (APS) for a wide range of labour market indicators across local authority areas in Scotland for 2019.

This information precedes any impact of policies related to COVID-19.

The main findings for 2019 also show:

  • since 2009 the unemployment rate, which measures those not in work but available for and actively seeking employment, has decreased in North Ayrshire as well as in every local authority in Scotland;

  • by sector, people aged 16 - 24 make up a relatively high proportion of the workforce in accommodation, food services, wholesale, retail and vehicle repairs, while those aged over 50 are more prevalent in agriculture, forestry, fishing, transport and storage;

Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:

“These figures show that efforts since the SNP Government came into office in 2007, are making a difference.

“It has been taking specific action through our Gender Pay Gap Action Plan, Disability Employment Action Plan and the Race Equality Action Plan.

“For example, SNP Government’s 2019/20 Programme contains commitments such as the new Parental Employability Support providing intensive support to low-income families through to 2022, as part of a £22 million package of bespoke parental employment programmes.

“This programme also includes specific support to disabled parents to get quality jobs and stay in work, in line with ‘A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People: Employment Action Plan’ published in 2018, which sets out how the SNP Government intends to reduce the disability employment gap by at least half by 2038.

“The SNP Government will also build on the progress of the Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) programme, having delivered its headline target to reduce youth unemployment by 40% by 2021 – four years early.”

Trends in Scotland’s labour market are monitored monthly using the quarterly Labour Force Survey (LFS). Read the monthly briefing for Scotland.


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