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Public sector employment could fall to lowest ever level

The number of people working in the public sector could be cut to the lowest level since the creation of the welfare state, new analysis shows. The Office for Budget Responsibility has published projections suggesting 880,000 jobs will be cut by 2017.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) says that as a proportion of the total workforce, this will take the number of public sector workers to the lowest level ever.

CIPD’s chief economist, John Philpott, said: “The number of people employed in central and local government will have fallen by around 700,000 during the course of the current parliament and by 880,000 by the time the chancellor hopes to have closed the structural fiscal deficit in 2017.

“This will easily wipe out the net rise in public sector employment under the Labour government between 1999 and 2009 and take the public sector workforce to a record low.”

Brendan Barber, general secretary of the TUC, added: “Getting rid of one in seven public sector jobs will have a devastating impact on the public services we all rely on and deal a huge blow to local economies across theUK. A public sector jobs cull on this scale will depress local economies and cause even further job losses in the private sector. The Government must stop this cruel and self-defeating attack on public sector workers before it’s too late.”

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