Even more misreporting on public sector pay
Last week we highlighted that The Telegraph had included the earnings of employees in nationalised banks in its analysis of public sector pay. Although readers of the Guardian’s money pages may be a more sympathetic audience, it’s still unfortunate that the same mistake has been repeated. In his article on ‘public v private sector‘, David Brindle informs us that while private companies have cut jobs during the recession, the public sector has ‘added 290,000’.
Again, this is a result of the inclusion of the employees of nationalised banks in the public sector employment figures. Table 4(1), directly under the main public and private sector employment table in the ONS release, separates public sector employment by industry – and reveals that 196,000 of these ‘new’ jobs are in ‘financial corporations’.
Over the year the public sector has increased its staffing levels, but not as significantly as the Guardian reports. 5,000 more employees in HM Forces, 9,000 more in the police, 1,000 more in education and 64,000 in the NHS. When banks are excluded the total annual increase is 94,000.
The public sector has continued to show modest jobs growth during the recession, but in most areas total employment has been broadly flat since the recession started, and vacancies have been steadily falling. The implication that recruitment has continued at a comparable pace with previous years, and that the downturn and potential future spending cuts are leaving public sector recruitment unaffected, is wrong.