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This page relates to the 2007 version of the National Performance Framework. Information about the current version of the NPF is available on the Scotland Performs Home Page.


Current Status


The difference in employment rates between the best and worst performing areas was reducing until 2008 - 2009 when the gap increased by 5.2%. The most recent data shows that the employment rates are more stable and the gap between the top three and bottom three performing local authorities has changed by only 0.2 percentage points.

more on the gap in employment rates



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


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 are we performing?

The employment rate in Scotland varies considerably by local authority area. The difference between the best performing 3 local authority areas and the 3 worst performing local authority areas has generally reduced over the last 10 years. However the difference increased by 5.2 percentage points between 2008 and 2009. Between 2009 and 2010 employment rates were relatively stable within the top three and the bottom three local authorities.

Difference between the employment rates in the best performing local authorities
Please note that from June 2011 on the figures for employment rate cover the population aged 16 to 64 for both men and women. This new definition has been applied to the back series to ensure consistent comparisons.

Source: Annual Population Survey. The data are based on the calendar year.

View data on Cohesion


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.

For information on general methodological approach, please click here.

Further Information

Scotland Performs Technical Note

Statistics Topic Page

View Purpose Target data

Downloadable document:

Data for Purpose Target on CohesionData for Purpose Target on Cohesion [XLS, 44.0 kb: 08 Jul 2011]
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