Latest Public Sector News

11.05.15

Public sector employment expectations rise for Q2 but pay remains subdued

Employment prospects in the public sector have continued to improve marginally for Q2 but wage growth remains subdued, according to a new report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). 

The organisation’s latest Labour Market Outlook report highlighted that over the past three months employment expectations in the public sector have risen to -12 from -21. 

On top of this, the proportion of public sector employers that plan to cut jobs has fallen from 38% in Q1 2015 to 31% in Q2, putting it at a five-year low. 

But redundancy intentions for the quarter in the public sector are highest among public administration and defence employers, with nearly half (48%) planning to make redundancies. 

The survey of more than 1,000 employers reveals continued optimism on hiring intentions but basic pay is expected to grow by just 1.8% in the coming year, down from 2% in the previous quarter. Within this, it was noted that public sector organisations’ predictions of median pay increases of 1% will continue to lag behind those in the private (2%) and voluntary sectors (1.4%).

The modest fall in pay expectations is most likely due to falling inflation, says the CIPD, but it shouldn’t deflect attention away from underlying concerns about business performance, investment in training and productivity. 

Gerwyn Davies, labour market analyst for the CIPD, said: “The new government may be inheriting a strong labour market but people’s pay packets are only seeing very modest improvements, if at all. The ‘burning platform’ of widespread recruitment pressures that would have an impact on wages isn’t even smouldering yet. 

“More employers need to re-allocate spending towards workforce development in order to deliver the productivity improvements that are essential to achieve higher levels of pay growth.” 

Following last week’s general election victory for the Conservatives, the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) has stated that unions must come together to defend public services and the welfare state under the new Tory government. 

It added that results should also spell the end of the “outdated” voting system and that proportional representation is now “essential” to democracy. 

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of PCS, said: “The unions must step up the fight against Tory cuts and come together to defend jobs, living standards, our NHS and our welfare state.” 

The April/May 2015 edition of PSE is now available for FREE using the new PSE App, available on iOS and Android. Search ‘Public Sector’ in the App Store / Google Play.  

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