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Sub-regional public and private sector employee job estimates

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  • Release date: 17 September 2010
  • Period covered: 2003-2008
A report, produced by the Office for National Statistics, which includes data for the local authorities and travel to work areas within Great Britain.

Statistics on public and private sector employee jobs include data for the local authorities and travel to work areas within Great Britain for the period 2003 to 2008.

This data is based on Annual Business Inquiry (ABI) data. The ABI, which is produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), provides estimates of employee jobs for Great Britain by industry. It is important to note that the ABI only covers employee jobs (i.e excludes the self employed, Government Support Trainees and HM Forces and is different from employment). Information on farm agriculture is not available for all local authorities or any travel to work areas, so are excluded from this particular analysis for consistency. These exclusions from the ABI mean that whilst the public sector employee jobs estimates published by BIS and ONS are similar to the official public sector employment estimates published by the ONS, the private sector employment estimates are far less. Hence this analysis generally overstates the size of the public sector relative to total employment, but does give an estimate of the size of the public sector for each local authority.

The key points from the data released are:

  • The ABI estimates show that in 2008 27.4 per cent of employee jobs in Wales were in the public sector, above the GB average of 20.4 per cent. The ABI estimate for Wales is above the official public sector employment estimate for 2008Q3 of 24.7 per cent (GB equivalent 19.3 per cent). This demonstrates some of the limitations of this analysis published today if considering the size of the public sector in relation to total employment. However the levels are similar with the ABI showing 319,800 compared to 328,000 from the official public sector employment estimates.
  • Within Wales, public sector employee jobs have increased the most between 2003 and 2008 in Denbighshire, Caerphilly and Bridgend. The largest falls have been in Flintshire, Torfaen and Ceredigion. Private sector employee jobs have increased the most over this period in Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Merthyr Tydfil. The only falls in private sector employee jobs over the period have been in Neath Port Talbot, Monmouthshire and Anglesey.
  • The highest percentages of public sector employee jobs as a proportion of employee jobs in 2008 were in Merthyr Tydfil, Denbighshire, Swansea and Torfaen. Merthyr Tydfil was the sixth highest of the 408 Local Authorities in GB.
  • The ABI estimates show that the number of employee jobs in the public sector in Wales has increased by 2.4 per cent between 2003 and 2008, below the GB average (up 4.9 per cent). Private sector employee jobs in Wales have increased by 8.7 per cent, above the GB average (up 5.5 per cent). Due to the exclusions noted earlier, the official public sector employment estimates should be used to measure change in public and private sector employment.

There are several different sources available for public sector employment in Wales. Each is described below in terms of what they cover and guidance on when users may wish to use them.

  • Regional Public Sector Employment, published by the Office for National Statistics. These should be regarded as the official and definitive estimates for Wales and the other regions of the UK for public sector employment. These are published each quarter and are estimates of the numbers of people. These do not provide sub-Wales breakdowns. The official estimates do not consider GPs, GDs or Higher Education as part of the public sector in line with National Accounts.
  • The Annual Population Survey (APS). The APS is a survey of households in the UK that is used to produce estimates of economic activity and other labour market indicators down to a Local Authority level. It can be used to produce public and private sector employment. The APS allows respondents to determine which sector they work in and includes Higher Educations, GPs and GDs as part of the public sector. Due to respondents self-classifying themselves to the public sector (rather than being based on official business classifications), it overstates the size of the public sector. This is the case as for example if a contractor’s sole source of work is the public sector they may class themselves to the public sector. Some information may also be given by proxy. The APS should be used to calculate percentages of total employment (i.e employees and the self employed) in the public sector, noting that it will overstate the size of the public sector. The APS estimates, as with the official estimates of public sector employment are based on the number of people.
  • The Annual Business Inquiry (ABI) estimates published today. The ABI is a survey of businesses in GB used to produce employee jobs estimates (rather than persons). Each business is identified as either being in the public or private sector. The ABI estimates do not cover the self employed, HM Forces and Government Supported Trainees.   Information on farm agriculture is not available for all local authorities or any travel to work areas, so are excluded from this particular analysis for consistency. Those wishing to identify levels of public sector employee jobs below a Wales level should use these estimates from the ABI. However, the ABI on its own should not be used to determine the percentage of total employment in the public sector due to the exclusion of the self employed, HM Forces and Government Supported Trainees and also the exclusion of farm agriculture. Because of those exclusions it will overstate the size of the public sector relative to the private sector in many local authorities.
  • The National Statistic Public Sector Employment series estimates that public sector employment in Wales in 2008Q3 was 328,000. The APS shows this estimate to be 373,000 in 2008Q3. Finally the ABI estimates indicate that there were 320,000 employee jobs in 2008. Similarly taking the proportions of employment/employee jobs in the public sector, the Public Sector Employment share for Wales was 24.7 per cent in 2008Q3, figures from the APS show the public sector share of employment was 28.5 per cent in 2008Q3 while the public sector share of employee jobs in 2008 from the ABI was estimated to be 27.4 per cent.

Contact

Statistician
Tel: 0300 025 6960
E-mail: economic.stats@gov.wales

Media
Tel: 0300 025 8099

Details

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