Covid pandemic cited as a factor
Official statistics show 93,000 people are working for Scottish charities.
The government’s Labour Force Survey found that there were almost 952,000 people working in the UK voluntary sector in September 2020 but show a drop of almost 4% to September 2021.
However the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport cautioned that the figures were likely to be an underestimate because it did not include people who work for a charity as a second job and did not include social enterprises and mutuals.
The figures show that 847,000 of those were UK nationals, with 35,000 EU nationals and the remaining 32,000 people from elsewhere.
Anya Martin, research and insights manager at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, said the reasons for the decline were not entirely clear but it was likely that the Covid-19 pandemic was a factor.
“Voluntary sector employees are older and more likely to be disabled than private sector employees, so it’s possible that they’ve retired early or withdrawn from work in response to coronavirus,” she said.
“But there could be other issues going on – we know that the labour market has been fairly hot over this time, and that charities are increasingly struggling to recruit and have to compete with the private and public sectors on pay,” she said.