Public sector jobs cuts hit the hardest in areas that can least afford it
The TUC has commented before on how London has disproportionately benefitted from employment growth; this post discusses how the position has been exacerbated by public sector job cuts.
Public and private sector contributions to employment growth, 2010-2015
The graph above shows how the percentage gain over 2010-15 in total employment in each region/ nation is allocated between private sector gains and public sector job losses. The tables below show actual headcounts and percentage changes for each sector.
Since 2010, public sector employment across the UK has fallen by 373,000 (seven per cent). Every region/nation has lost public sector jobs over the past five years, but some have been especially hard hit. Very broadly, those regions with the weaker gains in private sector employment have seen the larger falls in public sector employment. Most obviously, private sector gains contributed least in the North East and Wales, and in the same regions public sector losses had the largest negative impact. (Note that the chart shows contributions, which take into account the relative importance in each region of public and private sector jobs to the total, and therefore does not match with the percentage changes in employment levels in the tables below).
In terms of the actual percentage change in public sector jobs, the regions with above average job losses were the North East, North West, Yorkshire and the Humberside, East Midlands and South West. These are four of the five regions with the lowest GDP per head. Outside London and the South East, Northern Ireland shielded public sector job cuts most effectively.
In contrast, London has only seen a one per cent fall in public sector employment while achieving a 16 per cent rise in private sector employment, significantly more than any other area.
Change in public sector employment since 2010 – excluding effects of major reclassifications
Change in private sector employment since 2010 excluding effects of major reclassifications
*Note both sets of figures exclude major reclassifications and hence are not distorted by this. As in the past few years, further education and sixth form colleges and Royal Mail have moved from being classified as in the public to the private sector, while Network Rail, Bradford and Bingley and RBS moved in the opposite direction; Lloyds and Northern Rock moved in and then back out again.
You can download the full TUC Economic Quarterly – here