Overview:

  • sample size of approximately 900 respondents

  • times series data available from 1999 on a seasonally adjusted basis, and 1991 on a non-seasonally adjusted basis

  • sample frame consists of complete coverage of local government and Civil Service and coverage of public bodies with 20 or more employees

Public Sector Employment (PSE) is a quarterly measure of the number of employees in the UK public sector. The statistics provide estimates of PSE by both government sector and industry.

In 2005, we collaborated with other government departments and the devolved administrations to implement major improvements to PSE estimates. Standard definitions for public sector employment across all departmental statistics were agreed upon, and a single definitive set of quarterly PSE estimates were introduced. A new Quarterly Public Sector Employment Survey (QPSES) was established.

PSE statistics are derived from a range of sources. The primary source is the QPSES, which collects data from local authorities in England and Wales, Civil Service departments, agencies and public bodies in Great Britain.

PSE estimates are used across government and feed into a number of wider publications and outputs. Some government departments use the total figures to facilitate policy making, whereas others use specific components of the data collection. The main users include the Cabinet Office, HM Treasury (HMT), the Scottish Government, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Local Government Association (LGA).

Download this methodology

Contact details for this Quality and methodology information

Debra Leaker
pse@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)1633 455874