Good news in the employment statistics... if you're in the public sector

The new release from the Office for National Statistics Labour Market Survey shows that the unemployment count is down, that's good news.  But where is that good news coming from if our export and manufacturing performance is weak?

Looking at the ONS release in more detail, at the breakdown between public and private sector employment, shows that actually the same pattern of job losses in the private sector (employment down another 61,000) against a rise in employment in the public sector (employment up another 7,000) is still continuing.

Public and private sector employment, thousands, seasonally adjusted

Q4 2009 employment stats
If you look at that rebased to the start of 2008, you can see that the private sector has fared much worse in the recession:

Public and private sector employment, 2008 Q1=100, seasonally adjusted

Q4 2009 employment stats - rebased

So it is good news for the public sector but bad news in the private sector where more people are losing their jobs and facing greater taxes to pay for the ever larger army of public sector workers.  Many of those in the public sector are doing important work, but too many are doing non-jobs.  Here is the video we recently released responding to a Unison advert that tried to suggest spending cuts would have to mean noone to answer 999 calls or clean hospitals:


As I've written before, the fear of big tax hikes tomorrow to pay for today's borrowing is undermining economic confidence.  If we cut spending we can build a private sector recovery.  That will mean more people employed catering to private demand rather than relying on the government's ability to spend beyond its means, for now.  We'll be setting out how to get that cut in spending in the upcoming book How to Cut Public Spending (and Still Win an Election).


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