Scots employment gender gap 'narrowing'

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The gap between the number of men and women in work in Scotland is narrowing, according to the latest figures.

The National Statistics survey said 70.3% of women were in employment in 2018, up from 68.4% in 2008. That compared with 78.1% of men in 2018.

The figures, which show labour trends over the period, also found twice as many Scots aged over 65 were 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 was in employment in 2018.

Since 2008, the employment rate for women has increased in 23 of Scotland's 32 local authorities, 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%).

Image source, NAtional Statistics

The authors of the survey said that young people aged between 16-24 had borne the main impact of recession over the 10-year 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%).