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Public sector workforce heading for record low as fiscal austerity culls 1 in 7 jobs

Public sector workforce heading for record low as fiscal austerity culls 1 in 7 jobs

In a follow-up to the Chancellor’s Budget statement earlier this week John Philpott, Chief Economic Adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) comments that the latest employment projections from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) show that the public sector workforce is on course to fall to a record low:

“The OBR projections indicate that the number of people employed in central and local government will have fallen by around 700,000 during the course of the current Parliament (2010-2015) 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.

“Overall more than 1 in 7 public sector jobs will be lost as a result of the squeeze on public spending, with the public sector eventually accounting for only 1 in 6 jobs in the UK economy, down from a peak of 1 in 5 prior to the recession. While the OBR expects growth in private sector jobs to more than make up for the public sector jobs cull, public sector downsizing on such a scale nonetheless represents a tectonic shift in the underlying structure of the labour market with broader implications for what people can expect to experience in terms of pay, conditions of work, management practice and workplace cultures.”

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