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Latest Comensura Government Index shows disproportionate drop in temporary labour usage

Latest Comensura Government Index shows disproportionate drop in temporary labour usage in the North East

Young people also hit by Local Authority budget cuts in the past year

The latest Comensura Government Index today shows there was a 6.7% decrease in the use of temporary labour across the public sector in the second quarter of 2012, when compared to the same time in 2011.

The North East saw the biggest drop in temporary recruitment at -46.4% while the South West saw a 12.4% increase. These differences have been largely attributed to a reduction in the light industrial and driving/transportation roles. Interestingly, these roles have seen considerable pay rate increases in the past year, of 26.6% and 17.5% respectively. The pay for long-term assignments of over 12 weeks in these job classes have increased to comply with the Agency Worker Regulations.

People under 44 constitute just over 60% of all temporary workers in Local Authorities and other public bodies and they continue to bear the brunt of reduced temporary labour usage. Compared to the same time last year, 16-24 year olds in temporary positions have decreased by 13.5%, 25-34 year olds have decreased by 20.7% and 35-44 year olds have decreased by 4.8%. This drop is credited to continued decreases in the light industrial job class.

The Comensura Government Index shows the usage of temporary labour across 80 of Comensura’s clients in England and Wales during 2011 and 2012. The Index is distributed on a quarterly basis and uses a variety of metrics to measure the usage of temporary labour including Full Time Equivalent (FTE), the reasons for hire, job class, age and gender.

Comensura also conducted a survey of 21 HR Directors of Local Authorities across the country. The responses not only confirmed the Government Index results, but also provide additional clarity on permanent and consultant employment.

71.4% of Local Authorities said their usage of temporary labour had reduced in 2012

The most common reason for reduced usage of temporary labour is & lsquo;reduced department budgets’

75% of Local Authorities expected temporary labour numbers to stay the same or decrease in the remainder of 2012 and 60% expect this for 2013 and 2014

43.8% of Local Authorities said their usage of consultants and contractors had reduced the most common reason given for this was & lsquo;tighter financial controls’

86.7% of Local Authorities said the number of permanent employees had decreased in 2012. The remaining 13.3% said numbers has stayed the same. 53.3% of Local Authorities expect further decreases during the remainder of 2012

Faced with increasing budget restraints and pressure to perform, many Local Authorities are resorting to alternative methods of resourcing. When asked, over 50% of Local Authorities said a greater use of internal labour or redeployment pools lay behind the reduced need for temporary labour. 46.7% of Local Authorities are considering shared services, compared to 30% considering outsourcing services.

Jamie Horton, Managing Director, Comensura said today, “The view from Local Authorities is that the decreasing trend in both temporary and permanent labour is expected to continue. Local Authorities and other public bodies are increasingly gaining greater control of expenditure on temporary labour by implementing methods to manage spend in this area. Alternative, more diverse approaches of resourcing are helping to reduce spend in this area, however more work is needed.”

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