At Q2 2013 there were 5.7 million people working in the public sector across the UK accounting for 19% of people in employment. This is the lowest percentage since the series began in 1999. The public sector comprises of 2.7 million people working in central government, 2.4 million working in local government and 469,000 in public corporations. Looking in more detail at the types of industries the top three at Q1 2013 were the National Health Service (NHS) which employed 1.5 million people, Education which employed 1.5 million people and Public Administration which employed 1.1 million people.
Public sector employment down in last year whilst private sector employment is up
Between Q2 2012 and Q2 2013, the number of people employed in the public sector fell by 104,000. Local Government fell by 145,000 whilst Central Government increased by 55,000. The number of people employed in the private sector increased by 380,000 to 24.2 million.
The South East and East have the lowest percentage of their workforce in public sector
Across the UK the percentage of people employed in the public sector varies. Northern Ireland (27.6%) and Wales (25.2%) both had more than a quarter of their workforce employed in the public sector. Within England, the South East (16.2%) and East (16.3%) had the lowest percentage of their workforce employed in the public sector. However across the UK, London had the highest number of people employed in the public sector at 739,000 but it has a larger population than other areas of the UK.