Historic real wage squeeze drags on whilst declining public sector remains insulated


Data published today by the Office for National Statistics shows that the second quarter has seen a continued decrease in UK public sector employment but an increase in the private sector.
Figures suggest a continued push by government to whittle down the public sector. Whilst it is encouraging that public sector jobs are on the decline, those in the private sector are feeling more acutely the effects of a falling real wage.
Public sector employees have declined by 34k to 5.665m. In the private sector, the rise is 114k to 24.171m.
Around four in five working adults are employed in the private sector. In June 2013, that figure was estimated to be 24.2m.
Local government employment has fallen by 48k from the first quarter when it was at 2.448m, whereas central government has seen an increase in employee numbers - 14k higher at 2.748m.
From the second quarter of 2012, employment in the public sector has dropped by 104k; in the private, it is 380k higher.
Our editor Allister Heath wrote back in May notes our chancellor's listless response to public sector pay:
It is bizarre in the extreme that pay in the public sector is still outpacing that in the private sector, especially given the supposed pay freeze. This story has been regularly reported in this newspaper, and George Osborne finally noticed at the Budget, but still not enough has changed.