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Employment and Economic Activity - Employment Rate

High Level Summary of Statistics Trend Last update:  23rd May 2014

Employment Rate (Based on population aged 16-64)

Scotland currently has the highest employment rate of the four countries in the United Kingdom and over the past year the employment rate has increased by 1.7 percentage points. From the mid 1990s, Scotland’s employment rate was steadily increasing, reaching a peak of 74.9 per cent during the second calendar quarter of 2007 (Apr-Jun), although over the past three years, Scotland’s employment rate, along with the other countries of the UK, has been at a lower level as a result of the economic conditions.

In the latest calendar quarter (Jan - Mar 2014), Scotland had an employment rate of 73.5 per cent, making it the highest of all UK countries. This compares to an employment rate of 72.9 per cent in England for the same quarter.

Last year in Q1 2013 Scotland had an employment rate of 71.8 per cent (highest) and England had an employment rate of 71.6 per cent (second highest), giving a gap of 0.2 percentage points in favour of Scotland.

So over the year the gap has shifted by 0.4 percentage points to Scotland’s benefit. The employment rate has increased in Scotland over the year by 1.7 percentage points, larger than the 1.3 percentage point increase in employment rate seen in England.

Please note that figures for change over the year are based on unrounded figures.

Employment rates- countries of the UK














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Source: Labour Force Survey, Seasonally Adjusted data, Office for National Statistics

The employment rate in Scotland, using the European age definition (15-64), in 2012 was 69.4% which is 0.1 percentage points lower than the previous year. When compared against the 34 members of the OECD, Scotland was ranked 14th highest in terms of employment rates. Between 2011 and 2012 the gap in employment rates between Scotland and the country with the 5th highest rate (Sweden in 2011 and 2012) increased from 4.1 percentage points in 2011 to 4.4 percentage points in 2012.


Participation - Employment rates in Scotland and OECD with 5th highest employment rate

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Source: OECD, Annual Population Survey

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