Welcome to the Public Works blog.

Public Works is UNISON Scotland's campaign for jobs, services, fair taxation and the Living Wage. This blog will provide news and analysis on the delivery of public services in Scotland. We welcome comments and if you would like to contribute to this blog, please contact Dave Watson d.watson@unison.co.uk. For other information on what's happening in UNISON Scotland please visit our website.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Latest Census Results

The latest report from the 2011 is now available. This report focuses on education and the labour market in Scotland. While some argue that there are more up to date statistics,the point about the census is that everyone is surveyed at the same time. The return rate is very high. In fact it's an offence not to take part. The breadth of data and the ability to cross reference each question to the other questions means there is no better source for information on Scotland's people and their lives. Key findings:

A massive 27% of people living in Scotland have no qualifications, 1% more than the proportion that has degrees or equivalent. Another reason not to cut further education budgets.

Gender segregation in the workplace continues with women making up the vast majority of workers in caring, leisure and administrative and secretarial jobs.

While more people are working, partly because there are more people, there is also a growth in part-time workers: 530,000 people now work part-time. Almost five times more women than men work part-time.

Key categories in this report are:

Economic activity
Hours worked
Industry and occupation
Socio-economic classification (class)

These are all broken down by gender, age and local authority area. All really useful information for local campaigning.

Census reports are a vital source of information and the latest report will be poured over by a range of researchers, policy makers and planners. It is the key tool for planning future public services. How many schools, nurses, roads, and houses will we need? The data also forms the basis for ensuring that all other surveys are of groups that are representative of the wider population. So when you see a spat about whether surveys are worth believing, this is how you would check.

Significantly the UK government is planning to get rid of the census, another victim of their slash and burn of public services. Danny Dorling lays out here why cancelling the census is stupid. A report will go the Scottish government in 2015 let’s hope they decide to reject the UK government’s decision and carry on with a full Scottish Census.

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