Think tank says cuts will push public workers into private sector

 
Lauren Fedor
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THE PRIVATE sector must be ready to offset significant government cuts by hiring public sector employees, a leading economic think tank has said.

In a new briefing note out today, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said that with at least 580,000 public sector jobs set to be eliminated in the next three years ­– at a faster rate than at the beginning of the last government – public employees will need to find private sector roles to keep the unemployment rate down.

The public workforce saw a net reduction of three per cent in 2011, but subsequent years saw that difference narrow as the pace of cuts slowed and private sector hiring rose.

“Given the historically large cuts to the public sector workforce over the last parliament, it is encouraging to see increases in the numbers of public workers managing to find new jobs in the private sector,” one of the report’s authors said, adding, “With the pace of workforce cuts set to accelerate in the coming years, the capacity of the private sector to absorb former public sector workers will need to increase further to prevent them spending a significant amount of time out of work.”

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