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Guide to Public and Private Sector Employment

Released: 14 November 2012 Download PDF

Abstract

Public sector employment comprises employment in central government, local government and public corporations as defined for the UK National Accounts.

More detail

Public sector employment comprises employment in central government, local government and public corporations as defined for the UK National Accounts. Data are collected from public sector organisations from the Quarterly Public Sector Employment Survey (115.9 Kb Pdf) and other sources. Employment estimates for the private sector are derived as the difference between employment estimates for the whole economy, derived from the Labour Force Survey, and the public sector employment estimates. There is a Brief Guide to Sources of Public Sector Employment Statistics (47.5 Kb Pdf) available on the website.

Private sector employment is estimated as the difference between total employment, sourced from the Labour Force Survey, and public sector employment.

Comparisons of public and private sector employment since 2008 are complicated by a number of changes to the composition of the public and private sectors with several large employers moving between these sectors. These major reclassifications are as follows:

  • Royal Bank of Scotland is included in the public sector from December 2008 but in the private sector for earlier time periods.

  • Lloyds Banking Group plc is included in the public sector from December 2008 to December 2013, but in the private sector for earlier and later time periods.

  • Direct Line Group is included in the public sector from December 2008 to June 2013, but in the private sector for earlier and later time periods.

  • Further education corporations and Sixth Form College Corporations in England are included in the private sector from June 2012 but in the public sector for earlier time periods.

  • Royal Mail plc is included in the private sector from December 2013 but in the public sector for earlier time periods.

As well as estimates of total public and private sector employment, ONS also publishes estimates excluding major reclassifications, which show the underlying movements in public and private sector employment.

 

Background notes

  1. Enquiries relating to labour market statistics should be directed to Richard Clegg, Labour Market Division, Office for National Statistics.

    Phone +44 (0)1633 455400

    Email labour.market@ons.gsi.gov.uk

  2. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

Supporting information

Further information

Interpreting Labour Market Statistics - The purpose of this article is to help users of labour market statistics interpret the statistics and highlight some common misunderstandings.
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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