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Purpose Target: Cohesion

Please note that this indicator is a part of the old National Performance Framework. It is no longer being reported on in the new National Performance Framework. The new framework can be found here: https://nationalperformance.gov.scot/


down To narrow the gap in participation between Scotland's best and worst performing regions by 2017

Current Status
The most recent data shows that the gap between the employment rate for the top three performing local authorities and the employment rate for the bottom three performing local authorities has increased by 1.1 percentage points. This is due to the employment rate for the worst performing regions increasing at a slower rate than those in the best performing regions (by 1.6 and 0.5 percentage points respectively).

Last Update: 17 April 2018
Next Update: April 2019


Why is this Purpose Target important?
What will influence this Purpose Target?
What is the Government's role?
How is Scotland performing?
Criteria for recent change
Further information

Why is this Purpose Target important?

The benefits of economic growth should be enjoyed across the whole of Scotland. At present, differences in income, participation and growth across Scotland act as a drag on our collective economic performance and potential. By addressing the low participation rates of our worst-off regions, we will release the economic potential of all Scottish people and reduce the cost of poor performance to the whole of Scotland.

What will influence this Purpose Target?

Cohesion, as measured by participation rates, can be influenced by:

  • Boosting the demand for jobs in those regions where participation rates are particularly low
  • Improving business and investment conditions in the worst-off regions
  • Addressing the local bottlenecks to increase the capacity and willingness of individuals in the worst-off regions to enter and stay in the labour market

What is the Government's role?

The Government can influence cohesion in Scotland through actions such as:

  • Learning, skills and well-being: remove any barriers that stand in the way of all individuals participating in learning, skills development; and realising their potential in the workplace
  • Equity: greater priority given to more balanced growth across Scotland
  • Effective government: to support local employability partnerships, as part of Community Planning Partnerships, to improve participation in their most deprived areas through provision of services to meet individuals' needs and those of the local labour market

How is Scotland performing?

The employment rate in Scotland varies considerably between local authority areas.

The difference between the employment rate for the 3 best areas and the employment rate for the 3 worst performing local authority areas was on a downward trend between 2004 and 2008. Between 2008 and 2009 the gap increased significantly, but subsequently reduced slowly between 2009 and 2011 before increasing again in 2012. Since then, the gap has decreased annually, before increasing again over the most recent year.

2004 - 2017

2004 - 2017

Source: Annual Population Survey. The data are based on the calendar year.
The data for this chart is available at the bottom of the page.

Criteria for recent change

This evaluation is based on: any difference in the gap within +/- 1 percentage points of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. A decrease in the gap of 1 percentage points or more suggests that the position is improving; whereas an increase in the gap of 1 percentage points or more suggests the position is worsening.

Further Information

For information on general methodological approach, please click here.

Scotland Performs Technical Note

Statistics Topic Page

View Purpose Target Data

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