Latest Public Sector News

13.09.12

Public sector job losses ‘slowing’

There has been a slowdown in public sector job cuts, unemployment figures show. The number of civil servants declined by 5,000 in the quarter to July, and the number of health workers is higher than three years ago, at 1.55 million.

Overall, the drop in public sector unemployment was restricted to 39,000 in the three months to the end of July. The public sector payroll has been reduced to 5.9 million, although the ONS has reported that this followed a decision to reclassify 196,000 further education and sixth form teachers as private sector employees.

Gerwyn Davies, labour market adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), said: “So far the growth in the private sector has more than managed to compensate for the fall in public sector employment. Today’s figures confirm that public sector headcount has fallen by around 430, 000 since June 2010. It is interesting to note that the trajectory of public sector job losses since 2010 has slowed sharply in recent months, which may confirm the theory that many public sector employers have front-loaded job cuts.”

The jobless total fell by 7,000 in the quarter to July, to 2.59 million. Part-time employment was up, boosted by the Olympics, yet ministers are still concerned about long-term unemployment.

More than 100,000 people gained full-time employment and 136,000 part-time jobs were created during the three months to July, while the number of vacancies remained static.

The number of people out of work for more than a year was the highest for more than 16 years, at 904,000, up 22,000 on the previous quarter.

Unison’s general secretary, Dave Prentis, said: “For families suffering the misery of unemployment, any decrease will be welcome news, but it is clear when you look at the bigger economic picture that any talk of growth is premature.”

And Prime Minister David Cameron acknowledged the problem, saying: “That is what the work programme is designed to deal with.

“The work programme we have got up and running within a year has helped already 690,000 people and the key part of it is that those who are hardest to help – people on the incapacities-style benefit – and also who have been long-term unemployed we pay the training providers more to help them into work and that is the key for dealing with this problem in the time ahead.”

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