In December 2012 there were 5.7 million people working in the public sector across the UK, accounting for 19.2% of all people in employment, the lowest percentage since records began in 1999. The public sector comprises of 2.7 million people working in central government, 2.5 million working in local government and 479,000 in public corporations. Looking in more detail at the types of industries, the top three in December 2012 were:
National Health Service – employing 1.6 million people,
Education – employing 1.5 million people,
Public Administration – employing 1.1 million people.
Public sector employment down in last year
One of the main reasons the percentage of people in employment who work in the public sector is at its lowest level since 1999 is the large fall in the number of people employed in the public sector between December 2011 and December 2012. Over this period the number of people employed in the public sector fell by 313,000, however, this large fall was impacted by the reclassification of some educational bodies from the public sector to the private sector. Excluding this reclassification, the number of people employed in the public sector fell by 117,000 between December 2011 and December 2012.