While the number of employers hiring has actually fallen slightly, the number reducing their workforce has come down more significantly. The resulting balance is one third the level of the national average, reflecting local and national government's underperformance, both against public building and public healthcare, and against the rest of the industry sectors surveyed by Manpower.
'The upsurge in job prospects in other public sectors after the Labour election is filtering through slowly but surely in local government,' comments a Manpower spokesman.
Rank by sector (out of 19)1717
Balance (hirers minus firers)+4+6
Public building Q4 98Q4 99
Rank by sector (out of 19)1212
Balance (hirers minus firers)+12+13
Private building Q4 98Q4 99
Rank by sector (out of 19)77
Balance (hirers minus firers)+16+18
Since the Thatcher years the trends in the public & private building sectors have, perhaps surprisingly, largely mirrored each other, regardless of Conservative or Labour administration. This quarter both the private and public sectors continue to take on more staff, which may be a reflection of the increased blurring between public/private sector building projects.