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631,000 Public Sector Jobs Lost

Monday, September 30, 2013

Official Data Shows 631,000 Public Sector Job Losses Since 2010 General Election Due To Government Policies 

Worse is to come as OBR’s forecast for net total public sector job losses during this Parliament means that for the next two years a further 400,000 jobs could be lost says GMB.

The number of employees across all the public sector in the UK (seasonally adjusted) has fallen from 6,328,000 in Q1 2010 to 5,697,000 in Q1 2013. This is a fall of 631,000 or -10.0%. 

The fall in the number of employees across the public sector in the UK, not seasonally adjusted, is 633,000. (That is 2,000 higher than the fall in the seasonally adjusted figures).

The fall in the number of public sector employees in North West has been 83,,000 or  -11.4%, followed by the South West with a fall of 77,000 or  -13.9% followed by London with a fall of 73,000 or -9.0%, followed by West Midlands with a fall of 61,000 or -11.5%, followed by Yorkshire and The Humber with a fall of 60,000 or -10.6%, followed by South East with a fall of 58,000 or -8.0%, followed by  East of England with a fall of 49,000 or -10.3%, followed by Scotland with a fall of -49,000 or -7.8%, followed by North  East with a fall of 43,000 or -14.5%,  East Midlands with a fall of 44,000 or -10.8%, Wales with a fall of 20,000 or -5.7% and Northern Ireland with a fall  of 11,000 or -4.8%. The data for all regions in the UK, not seasonally adjusted, is set out in the table below.

This analysis of official data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) was done by GMB, the union for public service workers. For sources and definitions see Note to Editors below.

Change in Regional public sector employment 2010 Q1 and 2013 Q1












Headcount (thousands), not seasonally adjusted



2010 Q1

2013 Q1


% change


North West






South West












West Midlands






Yorkshire and The Humber






South East






East of England






East Midlands






North East


















Scotland 8






Northern Ireland 10 11






United Kingdom 12 13






United Kingdom (seasonally adjusted) 12 13






Brian Strutton, GMB National Secretary for Public Services, said “These new statistics show the devastating effect of this government’s austerity cuts on total public sector employment with over 631,000 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis gone since 2010.

In particular, some parts of the country that are most dependent on the public sector to support their local economies have been hardest hit.

The tragedy is that the worse is yet to come. The Office for Budget Responsibilities’ forecast for net total public sector job losses during the lifetime of this Parliament means that the prospect for the next two years could be up to a further 400,000 job losses.

The evidence on the ground supports this, with our feedback from the current round of council budget reviews for next year suggesting accelerating cutbacks. Last week Wandsworth Council announced a further £43m cuts from April to take total budget cuts to £70m bears this out.

As a result, many communities in some of the most deprived regions will find their local economy in tatters.

GMB representatives from around the country are reporting that public sector workers are fed up with being told they have to accept pay restraint and reductions to their terms and conditions to protect their jobs and their local services only to find that the jobs and services go anyway.

With more attacks on the jobs and conditions in the offing GMB has called a national meeting of senior stewards for Friday 4th October to determine our response."


Contact Brian Strutton 07860 606 137, or Alex McLuckie GMB Scotland 07885 348 269 or Wales 029 2049 1260 or GMB press office 07974 252 823 or 07921 289880

Notes to editors

1 Sources - Office for National Statistics:

2 Estimates are based on where people are employed.

3 Quarterly changes in employment may be due to seasonal effects.

4 English further education colleges and English sixth form college corporations classified to the public sector from 1993 to 31 March 2012. They are therefore included in public sector estimates from 1993 to Q1 2012, and to the private sector thereafter.

5 Footnotes to table                                                   

Footnote 8: Estimates of public sector employment for Scotland have been revised in-line with the Q1 2013 Public Sector in Scotland publication. Further details can be found at

Footnote 10: Estimates of public sector employment for Northern Ireland will differ to those published by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency which exclude HM Forces personnel. Further details can be found at http://

Footnote 11: The use of workplace based LFS estimates of total employment may overestimate the proportion of public sector employment for Northern Ireland.

Footnote 12: Includes approximately 30,000 public sector employees who could not be assigned to a region.

Footnote 13: UK rates based on total employment that includes overseas employees, those who did not state their region of workplace when surveyed as part of the Labour Force Survey and public sector employees that could not be assigned to a region.


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