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Release: Public Sector Employment, Regional Analysis of Public Sector Employment, 2012

Released: 06 March 2013


Emily Carless

Labour Market Division

Telephone: +44 (0)1633 455717

Categories: Labour Market, People in Work, Employment, Employment Type, Public Sector Employment, Regional Employment, Government, Central and Local Government, Public Sector Personnel, Civil Service Personnel, Home Civil Service Personnel, Central Government Personnel, Local Government Personnel

Frequency of release: Quarterly

Language: English

Geographical coverage: UK

Geographical breakdown: UK and GB

Survey name(s): Quarterly Public Sector Employment Survey


30 April 2013

A minor error was discovered in the adjustment applied to regional public and private sector employment estimates to remove the impact of the reclassification of Colleges in England. This affected estimates prior to 2010 Q4 of regional public sector employment excluding Further Education Colleges and Sixth Form College Corporations for total regional public sector employment, public sector employment as a proportion of total employment, General Government employment and public sector employment in Education.  The regional private sector employment including colleges was also affected by this error.

ONS has today reissued the affected reference tables and corrected bulletin text commenting on the data.

ONS apologises for any inconvenience caused.  For more information please contact

Key points

The key points from this release are:
  • Total public sector employment is estimated to have risen in all regions during 2008 and 2009 before then falling to below 2008 levels by September 2012. When the effect of the reclassification of English colleges is removed, public sector employment in London and the South East was higher in September 2012 than in March 2008.

  • Local government employment has fallen in all regions between March 2008 and September 2012 except in Northern Ireland which had a small increase in local government employment.

  • Central government employment in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland fell over the series to below 2008 levels.

  • Changes in central government employment in England varied between regions. When the impact of the reclassification of English colleges is removed, employment in central government in September 2012 remained above 2008 levels in all English regions.

  • Private sector employment initially fell in all regions before rising to a similar or slightly higher level than in March 2008 by September 2012 in most regions. In Wales and Scotland private sector employment remained below the March 2008 level. Removing the impact of the reclassification of English colleges reduces the increases in private sector employment in English regions but most still returned to March 2008 levels by September 2012.

This release contains detailed public sector employment estimates, updated quarterly. For most sources that contribute to these statistics, the employment is reported for a specific date in the quarter. The public sector comprises central government, local government and public corporations as defined for the UK National Accounts. Public sector employment estimates are provided on a headcount and full-time equivalent basis by sector and industry. Regional headcounts are also provided.

The United Kingdom Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Designation can be broadly interpreted to mean that the statistics:

  • meet identified user needs;
  • are well explained and readily accessible;
  • are produced according to sound methods; and
  • are managed impartially and objectively in the public interest.

Once statistics have been designated as National Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the Code of Practice shall continue to be observed.

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