Public sector ‘hit harder’ by rising unemployment
MORE than 10,000 jobs have disappeared from councils, schools and the civil service across Scotland in the past year.
The public sector has been harder hit by rising unemployment than the rest of the workforce, official figures have shown.
There were 580,000 workers employed in the public sector in the final three months of last year – down 10,300 over the previous quarter.
The nationalised banks, including Lloyds and RBS, lost 2,700 jobs, while council staff, including teachers, have dropped by more than 5,000. Colleges have lost 800 staff as budgets have been slashed.
The public sector also includes the NHS, which saw staff numbers rise by 1,400, and reserved areas such as the Ministry of Defence and the Department of Work and Pensions.
It accounted for 23.5 per cent of all workers in Scotland in the last quarter of 2012, down from 24 per cent the previous year.
The decrease comes as official figures yesterday showed a rise in private sector employment.
STUC general secretary Grahame Smith warned the impact on families hit by lay-offs was “severe”. He said: “The STUC is disappointed if hardly surprised by these new statistics. It has been clear for some time that private sector employment growth in Scotland has been insufficient to compensate for public sector job losses in terms of both numbers and quality.
“The consequences are severe not just for individuals, families and communities directly affected by these job losses but also for local economies and those who rely on public services. Although often overlooked, the increasing intensification of work is having a detrimental impact on those who manage to retain jobs.”
Total employment in the devolved public sector fell from 489,700 in the last quarter of 2011 to 485,100 a year later.
Finance secretary John Swinney said: “In the face of severe spending cuts from Westminster, the Scottish Government has prioritised investment in front-line public services. Our policy of no compulsory redundancies for staff under the Scottish Government’s responsibility is helping maintain front-line staffing levels and supporting economic security as a driver of recovery.”
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