Scottish employment gender gap ‘narrowing’

Twice as many older workers, over age 65, were also found to be in work

The National Statistics survey states that 70.3% of women were in employment in 2018, an increase from 68.4% in 2008. That compared with 78.1% of men in 2018.

Twice as many workers over age 65 were also found to be in work. The most common reason given by the 88,600 employed pensioners was that they were “not ready to stop working”.

Across Scotland, 2,638,400 or 74.1% of the working age population were employed in 2018.

The employment rate for women has increased in 23 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities since 2008, whereas for men the employment rate has increased in only 10 council areas.

In 2018, the highest employment rates for women were seen in Highland (82.6%), Orkney Islands (81.6%) and 76.7% in East Lothian.

For men, the highest employment rates were seen in Orkney (93.4%), Shetland (87.9%), East Lothian (85.2%) and Aberdeenshire (84.6%).

The authors of the survey said that young people aged between 16-24 had suffered the most during the 10-year recession period by seeing their employment rates drop to just 57.2% from 60.7% in 2008.

Equality in employment opportunities was also measured, with the figures showing that less than half of Scots classed as disabled under the Equality Act 2010 were in employment (45.6%). That was compared with the 81% employment rate for those not classed as disabled.

The survey also showed a significant 19.7% gap between the employment rate for Scots from an ethnic minority background (55.4%) compared with the white population (75.1%).

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