Jamie Hailstone 15 September 2016

Council workforces shrink to record low

Council workforces shrink to record low

The number of people working for local authorities is at a record low, according to official statistics.

The latest update by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows the total public sector workforce in this country decreased to 5.3m in June – it’s lowest level since records began in 1999.

And employment in local government stood at 2.19 million for the same month, which is also its lowest recorded level.

The ONS statistics show the number of people working for councils was down by 13,000 on the previous quarter and 72,000 on the previous year.

But the figures also reveal a rise in the number of people working for central government, which the ONS says is largely due to academy conversions and jobs in the NHS.

Employment in central government stood at 2.9 million in June, and had risen by 1% on the previous quarter and 1.8% on the previous year.

The ONS also confirmed that there are 31.77 million people now in work – up by more than 550,000 in the past year and by 2.7 million since 2010.

‘We know that there are fewer children living in workless households too, which underlines our efforts to help people move into employment and to build a Britain that works for everyone, not just the privileged few,’ said work and pensions secretary, Damian Green.

‘But there’s more to do, and we will continue to work with businesses to help more people take up the wealth of opportunities out there in the economy.’

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