Magazine article Public Finance

Numbers Game

Magazine article Public Finance

Numbers Game

Article excerpt

In contrast to the improving news on the UK economy, those working in the public sector continue to face a difficult financial environment.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the number of people working in the public sector fell to 5.4 million in March 2014. This is the lowest level since comparable records began in 1999.

However, the fall of more than 100,000 posts since December 2013 was mainly due to a reclassification of some Lloyds Banking Group jobs from the public to the private sector. Excluding the reclassification, public sector employment fell by 11.000 over the quarter.

The biggest fall was in the civil service, where there was a reduction of6,000 posts over the three months to 439,000. Conversely, the number of people employed in the NHS increased by around 10.000 people to 1.58 million.

Employment in the private sector reached 25.126.000 in the three months to April 2014, up 447.000 on the previous three-month period. …

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