Public sector employment as a proportion of all in employment, UK, headcount, not seasonally adjusted.
Public sector employment in the United Kingdom as a proportion of total employment was 20.4 per cent in June 2005. This was still below the June 1992 figure of 23.1 per cent but above the low point of 19.2 per cent in June 1999.
From 1991 to 1998, public sector employment fell every year, with an overall reduction of 816,000 over that period. From 1998 public sector employment rose every year to 5,846,000 in June 2005. This was 680,000 higher than in June 1998. Private sector employment rose by 1,241,000 (5.7 per cent) from June 1998 to June 2005.
Public sector workers are more likely to be women and to work part-time than private sector workers. In 2004, 65 per cent of public sector workers were women, compared with 41 per cent of private sector workers. Around 30 per cent of public sector workers worked part-time compared with 24 per cent of private sector workers.
The public sector workforce is older than the private sector workforce. In 2004, around 72 per cent of public sector workers were aged 35 and over compared with 62 per cent of private sector workers.
Public sector workers are also more likely to stay longer with their employers. In 2004, 57 per cent of public sector workers had been with their current employer for five years or more, compared with 45 per cent of private sector workers.
The proportion of non-white workers was 7 per cent in both the public and private sectors in 2004. Around 13 per cent of both public and private sector workers were long-term disabled.
Public sector employment as a proportion of all in employment by region and country of workplace, headcount, four quarter average to June 2005
In the year to June 2005 Northern Ireland (30 per cent), Scotland (24 per cent), and Wales (23 per cent) all had higher proportions of their workforce working in the public sector than England (20 per cent).
In England the regions with the lowest proportions of their workforce in the public sector were the South East and the East Midlands (both 18 per cent). In contrast the North East (24 per cent) and the North West (21 per cent) had the highest proportions.
Ratios between the numbers of public sector employees working in each region and the total resident population of the region ranged from 8 per cent in the South East and East Midlands to 13 per cent in Northern Ireland in 2004.
Sources: Returns from Public Sector organisations (ONS), Labour Force Survey and Quarterly Employment Survey (DETINI)
Notes: Public Sector data for Northern Ireland relate to the number of public sector jobs in the country not the number of people working in the public sector. Data are expressed as a percentage of the total workplace employment level from the LFS in Northern Ireland. HM Forces data are not included in Northern Ireland estimates. Data are presented on a headcount basis. Figures for the NHS workforce in England, Wales & Scotland for December (Q4) 2004, March (Q1) 2005 and June (Q2) 2005 as well as the Police Service workforce in England & Wales for June (Q2) 2005 are based on projections and are therefore subject to revision.