Housing association reclassification causes drop in public sector worker figures

23 Mar 18

Public sector employment in the UK fell by 132,000 between September and December last year because of housing association reclassification, official figures have shown.

Following English housing associations’ reclassification as private bodies in November last year, the number of people employed in the public sector was a total of 5.35 million people, according to the Office for National Statistics data released on Wednesday.

Excluding the English housing association factor, the number of people employed in the public sector actually increased by 9,000 between in the last quarter of 2017.

The number of people employed in the private sector went up because of the English housing associations transfer – by 300,000 from September to December last year to 26.90 million people. 

See the graph from the ONS data release below: 

Total UK public sector employment, seasonally adjusted

ONS public sector employee graph


The ONS also released public sector finances on Wednesday showing that public sector net borrowing (excluding public sector banks) decreased by £2.5bn to £41.4bn between April 2017 and February 2018.

“Compared with the same period in the previous financial year; this is the lowest year-to-date net borrowing since the financial year-to-date ending February 2008,” the ONS noted.

The previous report from the ONS also showed a decrease in public sector borrowing.

Chief secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss said: “We are approaching an important turning point, with the first sustained fall in debt as a share of the economy in 17 years.

“Our balanced approach means we can reduce the deficit while still cutting taxes for working people and investing in an economy fit for the future.”

Did you enjoy this article?