Unison urged the Government to think again about its austerity measures, warning that heavy job losses in the public sector were hitting vital services and damaging the country's chances of economic recovery.
The union calculated that a council worker earning 20,000 a year paid almost 5000 in taxes and national insurance but would cost more than 11,000 in benefits, such as Jobseeker's Allowance and child tax credit, and lost revenue.
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: "Sacking public sector workers makes no sense at all. The figures don't stack up. The Government might make short-term savings by cutting jobs but they soon lose out in the longer term. Communities too pay dearly, as services they rely on vanish, and as demand in local shops and businesses plummets, hitting economic recovery.
"With 2011 looming, the Government should reflect on the real cost of its drive to cut public spending."