Public sector job losses far greater than predicted

Workers in office

Jobs are being cut in the public sector at a far higher rate than official projections, according to new research, and if job losses continue at the current rate the total could be 50% higher than forecast.

The number of jobs lost in the public sector since April is five times more than the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast for the entire year, says the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

In June 2010 the OBR forecast that government spending cuts would lead to the loss of 610,000 jobs in the public sector between 2010 and 2016. Then, in November last year it revised that prediction down to 410,000.

But, based on the current rate of job cuts, the CIPD predicts that the actual number of jobs lost is likely to be 610,000 - the same as the initial forecast from the OBR.

"With the economy and labour market in such a fragile condition, it is worrying that public sector job losses are turning out to be much greater than ministers have previously been suggesting," says Dr John Philpott, chief economic adviser at the CIPD.

The CIPD believes the high level of job losses in the public sector is bad for the economy at a time when unemployment is rising. So far, the private sector has not been able to create enough jobs to compensate for the shrinking public sector.

"Especially worrying is that public sector job losses in the second quarter of 2011 far exceeded net private sector job creation, which suggests that the slowdown in economic growth since the autumn of 2010 is gradually sapping the strength of those parts of the economy that were creating jobs in the initial part of the recovery," the CIPD says.

Dr Philpott wants the government to delay any more public sector job losses until a time when the private sector is able to absorb those made unemployed.

However, the Treasury doesn't support the report from the CIPD. A source told the BBC that it was sceptical of the CIPD's projections as it had previously overestimated the UK unemployment peak.

"Half a million private sector jobs were created last year and the independent OBR has forecast that there will be 900,000 more jobs created in the private sector than lost in the public sector by 2015," a Treasury spokesperson told the BBC.


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It's not worrying at all. We need to drastically reduce the public sector.

Who is going to carry out the statutory work that the Councils are required to complete? I am aware that in the south west qualified staff with the necessary experience have been cut, leaving gaps in essential cover.
I suppose that expensive consultants from the private sector will be employed at additional cost & less experience, but the objective of reducing staff numbers will have been achieved.
Wait until we have an incident and then judge the sense of the present policies.

I have always worked in the Public Sector as I had a vocation and wanted to help young people have better lives. I have studied for years but still earned mych less than my uni friends in the Private Sector who frequenly got a bonus etc. However I didnt mind as I gained a lot of personal satsifaction from my job. The thrill of hellping another person be the best they can be is awesome. However most of my colleagues have been made redundant. The few of us who survived the cut throat redundancy process will be forced to take a 10 Grand pay cut as a Private company have took us over and forcing us to sign new terms and conditions. So....I am 41. I have a degree and Post Grad. I work 1O hour days which make me too tired to spend quality time with my family and I will be paid 18 Grand.