Skip to content

Statistical bulletin: Public Sector Employment, Statistical Bulletin, Q4 2011 This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 14 March 2012 Download PDF

Correction

An error has occurred in Table 6 (553 Kb Excel sheet) Regional Public Sector Employment, of the Q4 2011 Public Sector Employment (PSE) Statistical Bulletin.

Labour Force Survey (LFS) employment estimates are used to calculate PSE as a proportion of total employment by region. The estimates of PSE proportions for Q4 2010 released in the Q4 2011 PSE statistical bulletin were incorrectly calculated using LFS data from an earlier period (Q4 2009).

This has now been corrected. Proportions for Scotland are not affected since they are provided by Scottish Government. Proportions for all other regions are affected but those calculated for East Midlands, Northern Ireland and UK seasonally adjusted have not changed.

ONS apologises for any inconvenience caused.

Headline figures are:

  • Public sector employment decreased by 37,000 in the fourth quarter of 2011, to 5.942 million.
  • Local government employment decreased by 33,000; central government increased by 3,000 and employment in public corporations decreased by 7,000.
  • Civil Service employment decreased by 9,000 to 471,000.
  • Employment in the private sector increased by 45,000 to 23.173 million.
  • The Q4 2011 public sector estimate is 270,000 lower than the same quarter a year ago. The Q4 2011 private sector estimate is 226,000 higher than the same quarter a year ago.

Summary

This bulletin contains detailed public sector employment estimates for Q4 2011. The public sector comprises central government, local government and public corporations as defined for the UK National Accounts.

Summary of Employment by Sector Classification, Q4 2011

United Kingdom, headcount (Thousands), seasonally adjusted
Quarter Central government (inc. NHS) Local government Public corporations Total public sector Of which: Civil Service 1
2010 Q4 2,798 2,887 527 6,212 506
2011 Q1 2,804 2,851 525 6,180 513
2011 Q2 2,762 2,779 513 6,054 488
2011 Q3 2,761 2,716 502 5,979 480
2011 Q4 2,764 2,683 495 5,942 471
Change on quarter 3 -33 -7 -37 -9
Change % 0.1 -1.2 -1.4 -0.6 -1.9
Change on year -34 -204 -32 -270 -35
Change % -1.2 -7.1 -6.1 -4.3 -6.9

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. Civil Service estimates are home Civil Service and therefore exclude Northern Ireland Civil Service, which is included in Central Government.

Download table

By sector classification; headcount (Table 1)

Total public sector employment was 5.942 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, a decrease of 37,000 (0.6 per cent) compared with the previous quarter. Employment in local government decreased by 33,000 (1.2 per cent) to 2.683 million, while employment in central government increased by 3,000 (0.1 per cent) to 2.764 million ( Table 1 (553 Kb Excel sheet) ).

Employment in public corporations decreased by 7,000 (1.4 per cent) to 495,000. In Q4 2011, employment in the Civil Service in Great Britain decreased by 9,000 (1.9 per cent) to 471,000.

Of the 33,000 decrease in local government employment between Q3 2011 and Q4 2011 approximately 8,000 (not seasonally adjusted) employment can be accounted for through employment moving from local government to central government, as local authority controlled schools have become academies.

For Q4 2011, there was a decrease of 270,000 (4.3 per cent) in public sector employment compared with the same quarter the year previous. The largest actual decrease was in local government (204,000; 7.1 per cent), followed by the Civil Service, which decreased by 35,000 (6.9 per cent).

Growth by sector between Q3 2011 and Q4 2011

This chart shows the growth in public sector employment between Q3 2011 and Q4 2011, broken down by sector
Source: Quarterly Public Sector Employment Survey - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

By industry; headcount (Table 2)

Growth by Industry - Q4 2011

This chart shows the quarter-on-quarter growth in public sector employment for Q4 2011, broken down by industry
Source: Quarterly Public Sector Employment Survey - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

When public sector employment is analysed by industry (Standard Industrial Classification 2007), the largest decrease in the fourth quarter 2011, compared with the third quarter 2011, was in public administration (15,000; 1.3 per cent) ( Table 2 (553 Kb Excel sheet) ).

Employment in education (8,000; 0.5 per cent), other public sector (7,000; 0.8 per cent), Police (4,000; 1.5 per cent), construction (2,000; 4.5 per cent) and HM Forces (2,000; 1.0 per cent) all decreased between Q3 2011 and Q4 2011, whereas employment in the National Health Service (4,000; 0.3 per cent) and other health and social work (3,000; 0.9 per cent) increased.

By sector classification and industry; full-time equivalents (Tables 3 and 4)

Table 3 (553 Kb Excel sheet) provides full-time equivalent (FTE) estimates by sector classification while Table 4 (553 Kb Excel sheet) provides FTE estimates by industry.

Total public sector employment on a FTE basis was 4.828 million in the fourth quarter 2011. Public sector employment on a FTE basis decreased by 30,000 (0.6 per cent) compared with Q3 2011, driven by a decrease in local government of 23,000 (1.1 per cent). Employment in central government remained unchanged at 2.364 million, and employment in public corporations decreased by 7,000 (1.5 per cent). In Q4 2011 the number of FTE employees in the Civil Service stood at 435,000, a decrease of 9,000 (2.0 per cent) compared with the previous quarter.

By industry, the largest decrease in Q4 2011 was in public administration (16,000; 1.7 per cent). The only increases for employment by industry on a FTE basis were in the National Health Service (5,000; 0.4 per cent) and other health and social work (2,000; 0.8 per cent).

Public and private sector employment; headcount (Table 5)

Private sector employment totals are derived as the difference between Labour Force Survey employment estimates for the whole economy and the public sector estimates collected from public sector organisations.

Private sector employment increased by 45,000 (0.2 per cent) to 23.173 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. Employment in the public sector decreased by 37,000 (0.6 per cent). In the fourth quarter of 2011, the public sector accounted for 20.4 per cent of total employment in the UK, down from 20.5 per cent at Q3 2011 ( Table 5 (553 Kb Excel sheet) ).

Compared with Q4 2010, private sector employment has increased by 226,000, while public sector employment has decreased by 270,000.

Quarter-on-quarter employment growth by main sector - Q4 2011

This chart shows the quarter-on-quarter growth in public sector employment in the United Kingdom, broken down by main sector
Source: Quarterly Public Sector Employment Survey - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

By region; headcount; not seasonally adjusted (Table 6)

London is the region with the largest number of public sector employees (785,000) followed by the North West (679,000), the South East (678,000) and Scotland (587,000) ( Table 6 (553 Kb Excel sheet) ).

Public sector employment by region - Q4 2011

This chart shows employment in the public sector for Q4 2011, broken down by region
Source: Quarterly Public Sector Employment Survey - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

Compared with the same quarter a year ago, there were decreases in public sector employment for all English regions. The largest decreases were in the South West (36,000; 6.7 per cent), South East (35,000; 4.9 per cent), East of England (32,000; 6.7 per cent) North West (32,000; 4.6 per cent) and London (31,000; 3.8 per cent).

England (234,000; 4.7 per cent), Scotland (24,000; 3.9 per cent), Wales (8,000; 2.2 per cent) and Northern Ireland (5,000; 2.3 per cent) all showed decreases in public sector employment in the year to Q4 2011.

In the year to Q4 2011, public sector employment in Great Britain decreased by 265,000 (4.5 per cent). Public sector employment in the United Kingdom decreased by 270,000 (4.3 per cent; seasonally adjusted).

In the fourth quarter of 2011 Northern Ireland (27.9 per cent), Wales (25.8 per cent), the North East (24.6 per cent) and Scotland (23.8 per cent) had the highest proportion of their workforce employed in the public sector. The areas of the UK with the lowest proportion of their workforce employed in the public sector were the East of England (17.0 per cent); South East (17.2 per cent); London (18.3 per cent); East Midlands (19.2 per cent); South West (19.8 per cent) and West Midlands (20.7 per cent).

Including and excluding financial corporations (Table 7)

Table 7 (553 Kb Excel sheet) shows estimates of public sector employment both including and excluding publicly owned financial corporations such as Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group. A non-seasonally adjusted time series for financial corporations can be found at background note 8 of this statistical bulletin.

At Q4 2011, public sector employment (excluding financial corporations) decreased by 41,000 (0.7 per cent) compared with the previous quarter, and by 263,000 (4.4 per cent) compared with the same quarter the previous year. At Q4 2011, publicly owned financial corporations accounted for 3.6 per cent of total public sector employment.

Civil Service employment by department and agency (Tables 8 and 9)

The number of employees in the Civil Service decreased by 9,170 (1.9 per cent) to 470,610, compared with the previous quarter and on a full-time equivalent (FTE) basis by 8,850 (2.0 per cent) to 435,240 ( Table 8 (553 Kb Excel sheet) ).

In the fourth quarter of 2011, there were no departments showing a notable increase in employment. The largest decreases in employment (on a FTE basis) were recorded by Ministry of Defence (3,410), Ministry of Justice (2,120) and Department for Work and Pensions (1,250).

Table 9 (553 Kb Excel sheet) provides a more detailed breakdown of Civil Service employment by department and agency.

Employment in Executive Non-Departmental Public Bodies (Table 10)

At Q4 2011, employment in Executive Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) decreased by 1,200 on a headcount basis, and by 1,120 on a FTE basis, when compared with Q3 2011 ( Table 10 (553 Kb Excel sheet) ).

Background notes

  1. Basic Quality Information

    In 2005 the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in collaboration with other government departments and the devolved administrations, implemented major improvements to public sector employment (PSE) estimates. Standard definitions for public sector employment across all departmental statistics were agreed and a single definitive set of quarterly PSE estimates introduced. A new Quarterly Public Sector Employment Survey (QPSES) was established. ONS publishes official PSE estimates each quarter, as National Statistics in the form of a Statistical Bulletin, approximately 11 weeks after the period to which they refer.

    The Summary Quality Report for Public Sector Employment (115.9 Kb Pdf)  is available on the ONS website.

  2. Relevance to Users

    The public sector comprises central government, local government and public corporations as defined for the UK National Accounts. ONS produces the United Kingdom’s National Accounts. The National Accounts are an internationally comparable accounting framework that describes the activities in a national economy. The relevant international manuals are the System of National Accounts 1993 (SNA93) and the European System of Accounts 1995 (ESA95). As part of the process of producing the National Accounts, ONS decides on the classification of institutions and transactions within the economy. The current UK classification process is available on the ONS website.

    The Public Sector Classification Guide provides information on the classification of organisations and institutions in the National Accounts.

    The public sector employment estimates relate to the number of people employed according to returns from relevant organisations, but they include a number of workers with a second job in the public sector whose main job is in the private sector or in a separate public sector organisation. The private sector estimate, which is obtained by taking the difference between the Labour Force Survey estimate of people employed in the whole economy and the public sector total, will thus tend to be correspondingly understated by a small percentage.

    Headcount estimates are based on the number of employees with an employment contract who are being paid by the organisation. Employees can be permanent, on a fixed-term contract or employed on a casual basis. Self-employed, contract workers and agency workers are excluded.

    Permanent employees, as defined in Table 8, are employees with a contract with no agreed expiry date or a fixed term contract of more than 12 months. Temporary/casual employees are those with a fixed term contract of 12 months or less or employed on a casual basis.

    As well as the headcount estimates, estimates have also been produced for the number of employees in full-time equivalents (FTE) back to 1999. This is based on converting part-time employees’ hours into a full-time employees’ equivalent and provides a better indication of total labour input than a simple headcount.

  3. Common Pitfalls in Interpreting Series

    Estimates of public sector employment for Q3 2011 to Q4 2011 are based partly on projections for some sources. As part of the development programme to improve the quality of public sector employment estimates, public sector organisations are working towards the production of timely quarterly estimates. Until this development programme is completed, there remains a requirement to include estimates for certain sources:

    1. Police (including civilians) workforce estimates for England and Wales are published every six months (for two quarters) by the Home Office.

    2. NHS workforce statistics for England are derived from a pay system which covers all but two English NHS organisations. This produces very good estimates of staff numbers. Figures for the two other organisations are estimated based on annual NHS Workforce Census figures. This new source of estimates will reduce the need to revise estimates in the future.

    The Home Office has provided estimates for the Police in England and Wales. These estimates are based on projections and may be subject to revision.

    All Public Sector Employment series are seasonally adjusted to aid interpretation. As seasonal adjustment does not preserve additivity within aggregation structures, relationships that hold in the unadjusted series do not necessarily hold for the seasonally adjusted series. For example, total public sector employment equals the sum total of all public sector industry estimates before seasonal adjustment, but this is not necessarily true after seasonal adjustment.

    Public sector employment statistics have previously been published for periods up to and including Q3 2011. In line with the published revisions policy for public sector employment statistics (26.4 Kb Pdf) , the statistics have been revised, to take account of late information from respondents.

    Tables 1R to 5R (553 Kb Excel sheet) illustrate the size of the revisions in each category.

  4. Concepts and Definitions

    Central government includes all administrative departments of government and other central agencies and Non-Departmental Public Bodies, as such it is wider than the Civil Service. This sector also includes HM Forces and the National Health Service (NHS). Within education, Academies are classified to central government. From 1 April 2005, central government includes the former Magistrates' Courts Service which has been brought together with the Court Service to form Her Majesty's Courts Service. The Magistrates' Courts Service was previously classified to local government.

    Local government covers those types of public administration that only cover a locality and any bodies controlled and mainly financed by them. The sub-sector includes all areas of administrative authorities including parish councils, though these units are not covered by the current estimates for local authorities. It includes police forces and their civilian staff. All functions of local authorities are classified to the sub-sector, although trading activities that produce market output (for example, housing and municipally owned markets) are regarded as quasi-corporations and appear under public corporations. Local education authorities are part of local government, as are voluntary aided schools, county schools and, from September 1999, foundation schools (formerly grant-maintained).

    Public corporations are companies or quasi-corporations controlled by government. Examples include Royal Mail and London Underground Ltd. These companies receive more than half their income from sales of goods or services into the market place (see background note 8 for details about financial institutions, for example Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland Group, classified to the public sector).

    The estimates of Civil Service employees count all home Civil Service employees (including from 1 April 2005 the employees of the former Magistrates' Courts Service). Civil Service employees can be classified to central government or public corporations. Examples of public corporations include the UK Intellectual Property Office and the Driving Standards Agency. Civil Service estimates exclude the Northern Ireland Civil Service and other Crown servants. Employees in these groups are included in estimates of central government employment.

  5. Accuracy

    Response rates: PSE statistics are compiled from a range of sources. The primary source is the Quarterly Public Sector Employment Survey (QPSES). The QPSES comprises three separate data collections; the home Civil Service, Local Authorities in England and Wales and Great Britain public corporations and Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs). Returned questionnaires go through a series of automated validation tests to check for completeness and consistency and to identify any significant movements compared with the previous period reported (and the same period the previous year). The automated checks are followed up with respondents where errors are detected or further explanation is required. The target is to clear 95 per cent of test failures prior to processing results. ONS targets for response to each of the three surveys ahead of compiling results are 85 per cent (number of respondents) and 90 per cent (of total employment). In addition, each survey has a list of critical respondents (usually those with the largest employment) for which special efforts are made to achieve 100 per cent response and clearance of test failures.

    Response (per cent of questionnaires returned) Response (per cent of employment)
    Local Authorities Survey 95 96
    Public Bodies Survey 89 93
    Civil Service Survey 100 100
    Other Sources (see below) 100 100

    Data for non-responders are imputed based on previous returns and known annual changes in seasonality. It is extremely rare for a Local Authority, Public Body or Civil Service department to non-respond for two consecutive quarters. The data collection is statutory for Local Authorities and Public Bodies (Statistics of Trade Act 1947) and positive action is taken to address non-response issues as and when they occur.

    So that estimates of total public sector employment can be made it is necessary for further information to be gathered from external sources.

    Geographic Coverage Source
    Central Government    
    HM Forces UK MoD: DASA
    National Health Service England Information Centre for Health and Social Care (IC)
    Wales Welsh Government
    Scotland Scottish Government
    Northern Ireland Department of Finance and Personnel
    Other Central Government Great Britain Quarterly Public Sector Employment Survey (ONS); Probation Service and Police Strength
    Northern Ireland Department of Finance and Personnel
    Local Government
    Local Authorities England and Wales Quarterly Public Sector Employment Survey (ONS)
    Scotland Joint Staffing Watch (Scottish Government)
    Northern Ireland Department of Finance and Personnel
    Police (including civilians) England and Wales Home Office
    Scotland Joint Staffing Watch (Scottish Government)
    Northern Ireland Department of Finance and Personnel
    Public Corporations
    Great Britain Quarterly Public Sector Employment Survey (ONS)
    Northern Ireland Department of Finance and Personnel

    ONS is now able to produce regional estimates of PSE based on returns from public sector organisations ( Table 6 (553 Kb Excel sheet) ). These supersede those produced using the Labour Force Survey (LFS) which previously had been used in conjunction with national PSE estimates to produce estimates by region.

  6. Future Revisions

    Statistics for the NHS for England for Q4 2007 onwards are partly based on projections and informed modelled estimates have been supplied by the Information Centre for health and social care. These estimates may be revised following the publication of the annual NHS workforce statistics.

    Statistics for the Police (including civilians) for Q4 2007 onwards for England and Wales are based partly on projections supplied by the Home Office. These estimates may be revised following the publication of the latest Home Office statistics.

    Due to ongoing validation of data from the new HM Forces Personnel Administration System, figures for Q2 2007 onwards are provisional and subject to review.

  7. Coherence

    The estimates of public sector employment in education (SIC division 85) differ from the school workforce estimates published by the Department for Education (DfE) (formerly Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF)) mainly as a result of differences in coverage and data sources. DfE estimates focus on the number of FTE teachers and support staff for England only. By comparison, the ONS estimates are derived by allocating local authority employees to education using the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) and the Quarterly Public Sector Employment Survey (QPSES) in England and Wales. Estimates include all employees reported by local authorities as working in primary, secondary and adult education establishments including some groups who are not covered by the DfE statistics, such as adult education staff and certain categories of support staff. Employment estimates for education in Scotland and Northern Ireland are also included to give a wider UK coverage. The different coverage of the ONS and DfE education statistics serve the needs of different users. Those who require information on the workforce in England who are directly involved in pupils' teaching and learning should use DfE published statistics. Users should also refer to DfE published statistics to gauge trends in education employment. Those who seek data on UK public sector employment in education, in its widest sense, should use the ONS data in this release. For further information on the differences between DfE and ONS data on education please see pages 44 to 46 of the Public Sector Employment Trends 2005 (463 Kb Pdf) article published in October 2005.

    ONS estimates for the NHS also differ from the headline figure produced by the Information Centre for health and social care (IC). Again, this reflects the wider UK coverage (IC figures are for England only) plus the exclusion by ONS of general practitioners (GPs). ONS, in accordance with National Accounts practice, classifies GPs as part of the private sector. ONS also include ‘hospital practitioners and clinical assistants’ who work in hospitals on a salaried pay scale but generally work as GPs leading the Information Centre to exclude them from their totals to avoid double counting. When these factors are allowed for, ONS and NHS data can be shown to be identical.

    Sector classification and machinery of government changes in the period since 31 December 2010 are listed here:

    Standards and Testing Agency (STA) The STA is a new executive agency of the Department for Education and commenced operating on 3 October 2011.
    Department for Work and Pensions Jobcentre Plus and the Disability and Carers Service ceased to have legal status with effect from 2 October 2011. This information has been aggregated with that of DWP Corporate and Shared Services to produce one figure for the Department for Work and Pensions. The Child Maintenance Enforcement Commission and the Health and Safety Executive are unaffected by this change and remain Crown Non-Departmental Public Bodies.
    Government Office for the Regions (GOR) The Government Office network closed at the end of March 2011. Almost all staff were made redundant, with the remainder (fewer than 10) transferring to the Department for Communities and Local Government payroll for administrative purposes.
    The Postal Services Commission (Postcomm) Postcomm (at the time approximately 50 staff) was merged into the communications regulator Ofcom on 1 October 2011.
    Home Office

    There is ongoing movement of staff between HQ Home Office and each of the Department's Executive Agencies (and vice versa) as staff move to meet the demands of the business. Between Q2 2011 and Q3 2011 the headcount within Headquarters increased. The main reasons for this increase were restructuring within the Department and transfers of existing civil servants between government departments, in particular: 99 staff within UKBA's Immigration and Border Policy transferred from UKBA to become part of HQ Home Office; 30 staff within the UKBA Chief Inspectorate Unit, (previously an arms-length organisation and therefore excluded from earlier QPSES returns), joined HQ Home Office; 15 staff joined HQ as part of the roll out of Civil Service Learning, a Next Generation HR business, based within the Home Office on behalf of all government Departments, and; a further 31 staff moved out of HQ Home Office to its Executive Agencies or other Government Departments.

    HM Land Registry On 18 July 2011, HM Land Registry (at the time approximately 4,990 staff) moved from the Ministry of Justice to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.
    The Met Office On 18 July 2011, the Met Office (at the time approximately 1,820 staff) moved from the Ministry of Defence to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.
    Ordnance Survey On 18 July 2011, Ordnance Survey (at the time approximately 1,100 staff) moved from the Department for Communities and Local Government to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.
    Education Scotland On 1 July 2011, HM Inspectorate of Education and Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS) merged to form Education Scotland. Education Scotland is a Scottish Government Agency.
    Buying Solutions In June 2011, Buying Solutions had a change of name and is now known as the Government Procurement Service.
    National Fraud Authority NFA (at the time approximately 50 staff) became an agency of Home Office from Q2 2011. NFA data has been returned manually by NFA.
    Scotland Office and Wales Office Scotland Office and Wales Office ceased to be part of MoJ on 1 April 2011. Figures have been shown separately from Q2 2011 onwards.
    National School for Government On 1 April 2011, NSG reverted back to being part of the Cabinet Office. This increased the Cabinet Office headcount. The new learning organisation ‘Civil Service Learning’ is expected to be fully operational by April 2012.
    UK Space Agency The UK Space Agency was launched officially on 23 March 2010 and became an executive agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills from 1 April 2011.
    Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland (SCSWIS) On 1 April 2011, the Social Work Inspection Agency (SWIA) and the Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care merged to form the Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland (SCSWIS). The new organisation is an NDPB, staff are public servants.
    Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) On 1 April 2011, Her Majesty’s Courts Service (HMCS) and the Tribunals Service merged to form Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS).
    Government Equalities Office On 1 April 2011 the Government Equalities Office (at the time approximately 120 staff) became part of the Home Office.
    Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency On 1 April 2011, Animal Health merged with the Veterinary Laboratories Agency to form the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency.
    National Records of Scotland (NRS) From 1 April 2011, the General Register Office for Scotland merged with the National Archives of Scotland to become the National Records of Scotland (NRS).
  8. Financial Institutions Classified to the Public Sector

    On 19 February 2009, ONS announced the classification of Royal Bank of Scotland Group and Lloyds Banking Group as public corporations from 13 October 2008. To facilitate analyses of public sector employment estimates by users, the following non-seasonally adjusted time-series has been created to demonstrate the full impact of recent financial corporations’ classifications to the public sector (based on Standard Industrial Classification 2007, industry 64 (Financial Intermediation).

    Period Headcount Full-time equivalent
    Q1 2008* 9,300 8,700
    Q2 2008 9,400 8,800
    Q3 2008** 10,700 10,100
    Q4 2008*** 238,800 217,800
    Q1 2009 241,500 219,500
    Q2 2009 235,500 214,900
    Q3 2009 230,800 209,600
    Q4 2009 220,100 200,100
    Q1 2010 218,400 198,900
    Q2 2010 221,000 202,000
    Q3 2010 219,600 201,000
    Q4 2010 212,100 194,200
    Q1 2011 212,100 194,700
    Q2 2011 210,700 193,500
    Q3 2011 209,100 192,200
    Q4 2011 203,600 187,200

    * Bank of England classified as a public financial corporation on 7 February 2008 from its inception (1946). Northern Rock classified as a public financial corporation from 9 October 2007.

    ** Bradford and Bingley plc classified as a public financial corporation from 26 September 2008.

    *** Lloyds Banking Group classified as a public financial corporation from 13 October 2008. Royal Bank of Scotland Group classified as a public financial corporation from 13 October 2008.

    Northern Rock plc, previously classified as a public sector Other Monetary Financial Intermediary in the Financial Corporations sector, was sold to Virgin Money Holdings (UK) Ltd, on 1 January 2012. Virgin Money Holdings (UK) Ltd is part of the private sector. More information about the sale can be found on the UK Financial Investments Ltd website.

  9. Further Education Colleges

    On 13 October 2010, ONS announced the re-classification of Further Education colleges to the public sector. ONS, as part of the Q4 2010 publication, took on employment estimates for Further Education colleges back to 1993 or their inception if later.

  10. The Census

    The Census is a count of the population in the UK. It takes place every 10 years and asks everyone the same questions to give a complete picture of the nation. This information is used to estimate the likely number of people and households in each area for the next 10 years. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) designs, manages and runs the census in England and Wales. The General Register Office Scotland (GROS) and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) are responsible for the census in Scotland and Northern Ireland. All three agreed to conduct their 2011 censuses on the same day (27 March 2011) in order to produce consistent and coherent information that covers the whole of the UK. The Census generated approximately 40,000 temporary public sector jobs across the UK, covering a range of part-time and full-time roles.

    The number of people in public sector employment was 6.054 million at Q2 2011, down 126,000 from Q1 2011. The estimate for Q1 2011 includes 15,000 people employed on a temporary basis in connection with the 2011 Census, but there were only 1,000 people employed in these temporary jobs at Q2 2011. Excluding people employed in temporary Census posts, the fall in public sector employment between Q1 and Q2 2011 was 112,000.

  11. Non-Departmental Public Bodies

    Since the release of the Q2 2011 Public Sector Employment statistical bulletin, ONS has published a table detailing employment in Non-Departmental Public Bodies by their sponsoring government department (Table 10). This table does not detail employment at an individual Non-Departmental Public Body level. ONS are working with Non-Departmental Public Bodies to gain consent to publish their individual returns to the Quarterly Public Sector Employment Survey (QPSES) on the ONS website.

  12. Publication Policy

    The complete run of public sector employment data in the tables of this statistical bulletin is also available to view and download in other electronic formats free of charge using the ONS Time Series Data website service. Users can download the complete release in a choice of zipped formats, or view and download their own selections of individual series.

    ONS launched its new website on 27 August 2011. The website improves the way users can access our statistics but many existing bookmarks and links will no longer work and users will need to update them. More information can be found on our Web Development page.

    Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available from the Media Relations Office. A list of those given pre-publication access (34.8 Kb Pdf) to the contents of this release is also available.

    National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from political interference.

  13. Copyright and reproduction

    © Crown copyright 2012

    Under the terms of the Open Government Licence and UK Government Licensing Framework, anyone wishing to use or re-use ONS material, whether commercially or privately, may do so freely without a specific application for a licence, subject to the conditions of the OGL and the Framework.

    For further information, contact the Office of Public Sector Information, Crown Copyright Licensing and Public Sector Information, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU.

    Tel: +44 (0)20 8876 3444

    Email psi@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk

  14. Follow ONS on Twitter or Facebook or view our podcasts on YouTube.
  15. 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

    These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

Statistical contacts

Name Phone Department Email
Emily Carless +44 (0)1633 455717 Labour Market Division cssurveys@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication .
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.