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5.7 million people work in the public sector

In September 2012 around 19% of people in employment worked in the public sector

In September 2012 there were 5.7 million people working in the public sector across the UK accounting for 19.4% of people in employment. The public sector comprises of 2.7 million people working in central government, 2.6 million working in local government and 478,000 in public corporations. Looking in more detail at the types of industries the top three in September 2012 were the

  • 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

Between September 2011 and September 2012, the number of people employed in the public sector fell by 324,000 but this 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 128,000 between September 2011 and September 2012. 

Northern Ireland has highest percentage of their workforce in public sector

Across the UK the percentage of people employed in the public sector varies. Northern Ireland (27.7%) and Wales (25.7%) both had more than a quarter of their workforce employed in the public sector. Within England, the South East (16.9%), East (16.7%) and London (16.9%) had the lowest percentage of their workforces employed in the public sector. However across the UK, London had the highest number of people employed in the public sector at 741,000 but it has a larger population than other areas of the UK.

Categories: Labour Market, People in Work, Employment, Employment Type, Public Sector Employment, Regional Employment, Government, Central and Local Government, Public Sector Personnel, Central Government Personnel, Civil Service Personnel, Local Government Personnel
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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