Yesterday saw the publication of the public sector jobs data for both Scotland and the UK. I examined in this earlier post what could be deduced about the impact on public sector jobs of fiscal austerity when data for the fourth quarter 2011 were published back in March.
The new data show fiscal consolidation continuing with more jobs being shed. And Scotland still seems to be leading the way as this chart shows:
However, the 8.9% fall in public sector jobs in Scotland includes the banking employment in HBOS and RBS, which were included in the data from the fourth quarter 2008 after the UK government took a majority stake in each. Transferring those jobs to the private sector reduces the fall in public sector jobs to -7.6%. This makes the job loss broadly the same as England.
There is some evidence that the part-time jobs have initially been more vulnerable than full-time jobs. But recalculating the job loss in terms of FTEs leads to an estimated fall of -7.3%, not much different from the percentage fall in the ex banks headcount. But the FTE numbers are smaller.
Overall, some 57,000 public sector jobs have been cut if the banks are included, 44,000 if the banks are excluded, which translates into about 37,000 FTEs. This is still a sizable job loss whichever way you look at it.
It is also worth noting that at the Fraser of Allander Institute, in a CGE model simulation published in the Economic Commentary in June 2012, we estimated that the public sector job loss from departmental spending cuts would likely be in the range 78,000 to 90,000. It would appear, sadly, that we are well on the way to attaining that range of job loss.
The overall public and private jobs position since the start of the Great Recession is given in this chart:
What is again clear from this chart - I have smoothed the data in the absence of seasonal adjustment - is that the recovery of private sector jobs has not in any significant way compensated for the public job loss.
So much for the UK government view that there would be a crowding in of private jobs as the public sector contracted.