Growth in West Midlands public sector employment highlighted by report

FTIn recent days, the findings of a report by the Financial Times into the distribution of employment between the Public and Private Sectors, with particular reference to the West Midlands, has been further commented on in reports by a number of other national papers.

The primary findings of the report were that between 1998 and 2006, 1.3 million of the 2.2 million jobs created in the UK (hence approximately 60%) were in the Public Sector.

The figures for female employment showed even more contrast, and according to the FT report, in the West Midlands female employment in the Private Sector fell by 2% between 1998 and 2006 (the only government region to see a decline), whereas employment in the Public Sector amongst females in our region rose by 25%. A map in a subsequent Daily Mail report (albeit misleadingly labelled) illustrates all the regional changes in Public and Private sector employment amongst females.

Although not publishing a detailed breakdown of male employment figures, the FT report stated that the majority of growth in male employment was in the Private Sector.

The FT state that the report’s data was sourced from the Office for National Statistics’ Labour Force Survey, Annual Business Inquiry, and the Public Sector Employment Survey. As a caveat, they indicate they have used a much broader definition of what constitutes a Public Sector job than the ONS applies in its official survey, which unlike the FT’s definition excludes employment such as General Practitioners and University Lecturers.

On a positive note (which the Daily Mail appears to have overlooked in its subsequent report), the FT states that there is extensive evidence from employers that the growth in Public Sector employment has not stymied the Private Sector’s ability to recruit or fund new employees.

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