Public Sector

As we enter the third year of austerity cuts it is becoming increasingly difficult for ministers to make the cuts to the public sector it wanted to make by reducing staff numbers.

This has led to a reclassification of many public sector workers as private. As a result, it can be said that the costs have been cut in the public sector, but the numbers of teachers, for example, has not been affected.

Figures have actually revealed that the number of Health Workers is higher than it was three years ago, whilst the number of teachers has remained the same. Prime Minister, David Cameron, had commented on his worries over youth employment figures and the fact that these were at a sixteen year high. John Philpott, Director of the Jobs Economist, spoke about the number of vacancies becoming available compared to the last quarter's figures showing the numbers of people gaining employment. He said that we must have become very good at filling the vacancies that arise to have achieved such results (more than one hundred thousand people gained full-time employment and one hundred and thirty six part-time jobs were created during the three months to July), given the near static number of vacancies. Of course the Olympics did have an effect with the resulting recruitment drive to ensure the capital could serve its visitors helping to reduce the amount of individuals claiming benefits.

Although there has been an increase in the numbers of people no longer claiming benefits, this is due in some part to the large numbers of people who have had to accept a part time job. Those working part time is at its highest since records began in 1992. There are currently 8.12 million people working part time because they have been unable to find a full time role. In order to stimulate employment John Walker, Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said "policies targeted at stimulating job creation, such as extending the national insurance contributions holiday, are needed to give small firms the confidence to create full-time positions and take on staff."

As David Milliband pointed out the level of long-term unemployment is unacceptable and the Government need to have a long term plan to battle this. David Prentis, Unison's General Secretary agreed, saying "for families suffering the misery of unemployment, any decrease will be welcome news, but it is clear when you look at the bigger economic picture that any talk of growth is premature. In areas such as Yorkshire and Humberside, and the West Midlands – where unemployment is already among the highest in the UK – unemployment continues to go up, meaning yet more misery for families struggling to get by."

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