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Public sector workforce rising again

One characteristic of the current UK government is the massive investment into public services and the enormous increase in public sector workers since 2000. A look back to the third quarter of 2004 shows an increase of nearly 35,000 public sector workers a figure which was repeated in the first quarter of 2005 also. However, between the first quarter of 2006 and the first quarter of 2008 there were net reductions in the public sector workforce by between 70,000 and 80,000 over the period.

However, as the UK recession has grabbed hold we saw the second quarter of 2008 bring in around 12,000 new entrants to the public sector workforce and this figure was slightly beaten in the third quarter of 2008, a trend which many expect to continue. It seems as though the initial "over" investment into the public sector workforce was corrected in 2005, 2006 and 2007 but seems set to rise from the second quarter of 2008 onward.

While the short-term benefit to the unemployment figures is obvious there is a longer term concern in that the public services sector already has a massive pension deficit which is being paid for by the taxpayer. Many experts predict taxpayers of the future will pay a growing percentage of their income towards public sector pensions which are often final salary schemes.

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