Race for jobs being won by London and Scotland

Many English regions will be left behind as private sector grows and the state shrinks

Political Editor

The growth in private sector employment as the economy recovers may not compensate for public sector job cuts in all regions of the UK.

In a report published Friday, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) warned that the expansion of the private sector may not be evenly spread across Britain. Its finding will fuel the debate over whether the Government’s economic strategy will deliver a “fair recovery for all.”

Some 1.1 million public sector jobs are forecast to disappear between the 2010-11 and the 2018-19 financial years, a 19 per cent drop. But ministers insist that the cuts will be outweighed by a bigger growth in private sector employment. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), the tax and spending watchdog, predicts that 3.1 million private sector posts will be created over the same period.

The IFS reported that, so far, public employment has fallen in all regions and that private sector employment has risen by more. But it warned: “It is not the case that those regions with larger cuts to public employment are those with faster growth in private sector employment. London and Scotland stand out as those areas with the fastest private sector growth, while the North East and West Midlands face relatively large cuts to public employment and slower private employment growth.

“The extent to which private jobs in each region make up for the reductions in the public sector alongside the geographical mobility of the labour force, will have an important effect on regional and overall unemployment rates in the future.”

The percentage of the current 5.4 million public sector workforce varies across regions, from almost 28 per cent in Wales to under 21 per cent in London.

According to the IFS, the 1.1 million public sector job cuts would be the largest seen in the past 50 years and would dwarf the 350,000 fall in the nineties. Because schools and NHS budgets are protected, other departments could see the number of people employed reduced by between 30 and 40 per cent.

The IFS found that women now make up two-thirds of the public sector workforce. The proportion is likely to grow further because of the protection given to schools and health spending.

“There have been big increases in private sector employees delivering services historically dominated by the public sector,” said the report. “Much of the expansion in nursery care has been driven by the private sector. In the mid-nineties, private sector nursery nurses and assistants accounted for around 40 per cent of the nursery workforce, but increased to more than 70 per cent by 2010.”

Personal care has seen a similar trend. The number of workers in the public sector has been largely flat since the mid-nineties, whilst private sector numbers have more than doubled since the mid-nineties and accounted for around three-quarters of care sector workers by 2010.

Jonathan Cribb, research economist at IFS and an author of the report, said: “The public sector workforce grew by over 600,000 over the 2000s. Even so the scale of the reductions expected over the next few years looks challenging. If delivered, the 1.1 million drop in general government employment forecast by the OBR between 2010–11 and 2018–19 would be almost three times larger than the previous drop during the early 1990s.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy