Click on our infographic to see the key facts from this indicator set. 

Employment and jobsEconomic Participation in Glasgow infographic- if you require an accessible version or transcript, please email info@gcph.co.uk

  • Glasgow has more jobs than residents and the city's rate of jobs per resident is higher than any other local authority in the Glasgow City Region.
  • 72% of working age Glaswegians were employed in 2022, which was 2% lower than in Scotland as a whole.
  • In Glasgow in 2022, 46% of people with a disability were in employment, which was 26 percentage points lower than the overall employment rate in the city.
  • 60% of adults from an ethnicity minority group in Glasgow were employed in 2022, which was 12 percentage points lower than the average employment rate in the city.
  • Underemployment in Glasgow (reflecting the number of employees who want/need to work more) has fallen from 15% in 2013 to 9% in 2020.

Income inequality and pay

  • The UK has one of the highest levels of income inequality in Europe.
  • Among Glasgow residents, the salaries of the 20% of highest paid employees are more than double the pay of the lowest paid 20% of employees.

Economic inactivity, worklessness and unemployment

  • 25% of the working age population in Glasgow was economically inactive in 2022, which is slightly higher than the Scottish average.
  • The International Labour Organisation (ILO) unemployment rate for Glasgow increased from 6.5% in 2007/08 to 12% in 2011/12, but has since decreased and had dropped to 4.4% in 2021/22.
  • In 2021, 24% of households in Glasgow had no adults in paid employment. This figure is the highest rate among Scottish and UK cities.

Economic participation is recognised by economists, governments and policy makers as a key component of successful economies.  Good quality employment provides a means for individuals to gain social and economic opportunities and to contribute constructively to society.  The links between health and socioeconomic circumstance are well recognised.  The WHO (World Health Organisation) report The Solid Facts – Social Determinants of Health (2003) noted that "unemployment puts health at risk" and goes on to underline that "unemployed people and their families suffer a substantially increased risk of premature death" and that "the health effects of unemployment are linked to both its psychological consequences and financial problems, especially debt".

This section currently includes indicators of incapacity and workless benefits, economic inactivity, employment, unemployment and underemployment. The NOMIS website provides official government statistics for a much wider range of economic indicators. The Glasgow City Region's intelligence hub provides a wide range of analysis and commentaries relating to the economy of the region.

The data on the Understanding Glasgow website comes from a variety of administrative sources and surveys, and the frequency of updates to these sources varies. The graphs and text on each page should indicate the period to which an indicator refers.  In some cases, where more recently published data is not available, we still use older published sources, such as the 2011 Census. Find out more about the timeliness of data presented on this website.


1. Many of the trends described above have been strongly influenced by the global financial crisis (which began in 2007-2008) as well as by recent welfare policy changes.  

2. The employment figures in this section relate only to people in paid employment. Similarly, the figures on workless households relate to households where no adult is in paid employment.

3. The sub-section on Benefit statistics has been removed due to changes in the administration of benefits, including the devolution and creation of some new benefits administered by Social Security Scotland. These changes make it difficult to provide accurate up-to-date comparisons of benefit rates and have also created a discontinuity with previous published trends.

This page was updated in August 2023.

Additional Resources

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    Thursday, 26 May 2011

    Your Better Life Index

    A new, interactive index allowing users to measure and compare their lives.
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    Friday, 25 March 2011

    Monitoring Glasgow 1990

    A report following Glasgow's year as European City of Culture, by John Myerscough
  • Resource
    Wednesday, 22 December 2010

    Economy & Labour Market Briefing

    A review of economic and labour market data, with projections on what they mean for Glasgow.
  • Resource
    Monday, 26 April 2010

    Economies of Life

    An exploration of the principles of ecological and economical thinking and their relationship.
  • Resource
    Monday, 1 March 2010

    Towards a Smarter Glasgow

    A report which covers various aspects of the skills and educational performance of Glasgow, drawing conclusions on Glasgow’s performance in relation to the strategic objective of creating a Smarter Scotland.
  • Resource
    Monday, 1 February 2010

    Towards a Wealthier & Fairer Glasgow

    A report which examines the Purpose Targets set out in the National Performance Framework for Scotland, before a conclusion on Glasgow’s performance in relation to the strategic objective of creating a wealthier and fairer Scotland.
  • Resource
    Sunday, 15 November 2009

    A Step Change for Glasgow – Assessing Progress against Targets

    Assessment of progress towards the targets laid out in 2006's A Step Change for Glasgow strategy.
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    Wednesday, 19 August 2009

    A Games Legacy for Glasgow

    Brochure outlining the potential legacy of Glasgow's role as Commonwealth Games host city in 2014.
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    Monday, 3 April 2006

    Let Glasgow Flourish

    A comprehensive report on health and its determinants in Glasgow and West Central Scotland
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