Public sector hiring intentions holding steady

10 Jun 13
The government’s welfare reforms are helping to keep public sector employment prospects buoyant this year, a survey shows.

According to Manpower’s latest Employment outlook survey, published today, hiring intentions in the public sector remain steady with an outlook score of +6% for the third quarter, only a slight fall on the +7% recorded for Q2.

The survey asks more than 2,000 UK employers whether they intend to recruit additional workers or reduce the size of their workforce in the coming quarter.

Nick Heckscher, government sector director at Manpower, said several factors were offsetting the general decline in public sector headcount, one of which was the impact of Universal Credit on the housing sector.

‘The changes we have seen in the new payment model, to bundle all benefits together for the claimant to make the payments themselves, has led to housing providers hiring more staff to deal with the new payment regime,’ he said.

Public sector audit and regulatory regimes were also helping to boost recruitment as staff were needed to oversee and administer compliance.

Finally, the need for temporary and flexible workers was behind much of the new hiring, Heckscher said, as the public sector’s employment models were evolving to reflect those in the private sector.

‘The usage of zero hours contracts by the government has been in the headlines recently and is more evidence that flexible working is becoming an essential way of working for the sector,’ he said.

Overall, the UK’s employment outlook was +5%, suggesting that the jobs market is showing no major sign of a let-up, Manpower said.


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