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Public Sector Wages

Volume 450: debated on Wednesday 25 October 2006

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people have been employed in the public sector in each year since 1980-81; and what the public sector wage bill was in each such year. (96010)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the national statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 25 October 2006:

As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question concerning how many people have been employed in the public sector in each year from 1980-81 and what the public sector wage bill was in each such year. (96010).

Public sector employment statistics are published in the quarterly Public Sector Employment First Release which is available on the National Statistics website (http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/pse0906.pdf). The latest information available is for Quarter 2 (June) 2006.

Consistent time series are available back to 1991 from Table 1 of the above publication. For earlier estimates (which are on a different basis) figures are sourced from the July 2004 edition of Labour Market Trends. The break follows a review of Public Sector Employment statistics in 2004 which resulted in improvements to coverage and timeliness.

The figures for 1980-2006 are shown in the table below with 1991 presented on both bases to indicate the break in the series.

Statistics on compensation of employees in the public sector are published in the UK National Accounts (Blue Book) which is available on the National Statistics website. The latest information available is for the year 2005.

Consistent time series are available back to 1980 from Table 3.2.2 (Public Corporations) and Table 5.1.2 (General Government) of the above publication.

Public sector employment: UK, 1980-2006

Thousand

Year (June)

Headcount

1980

7,387

1981

7,185

1982

7,021

1983

6,952

1984

6,900

1985

6,569

1986

6,534

1987

6,359

1988

6,315

1989

6,084

1990

6,052

1991

5,848

1991

5,979

1992

5,905

1993

5,593

1994

5,430

1995

5,368

1996

5,268

1997

5,174

1998

5,163

1999

5,207

2000

5,288

2001

5,378

2002

5,485

2003

5,641

2004

5,756

2005

5,849

2006

5,840

Source:

ONS

Compensation of public sector employees: UK, 1980-2005

£ million

Calendar year

General government

Public corporations

1980

30,159

16,216

1981

34,211

17,524

1982

36,981

18,636

1983

40,101

19,075

1984

41,859

18,512

1985

44,061

17,081

1986

47,347

18,415

1987

51,591

15,721

1988

55,816

15,014

1989

59,417

15,330

1990

64,709

14,576

1991

70,400

13,453

1992

75,987

14,957

1993

77,183

12,810

1994

76,062

12,182

1995

78,121

12,000

1996

82,265

11,048

1997

83,888

10,139

1998

85,475

10,367

1999

89,719

10,935

2000

95,536

11,399

2001

103,401

11,707

2002

111,352

12,382

2003

121,625

12,368

2004

130,777

12,656

2005

139,183

12,965

Source:

ONS