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Workforce shrinks by a quarter in six years

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The number of people working in local government has fallen by a quarter (24%) in the last six years, according to LGC analysis of figures from the Office for National Statistics.

In contrast, central government’s workforce has grown by 2% since the start of 2010.

LGC used ONS data to calculate the difference between te size of the workforce at the start of 2010 and the latest figures recorded in June 2016, published today.

It showed there were 2.88 million people working in local government six years ago compared to just under 2.19 million now – the lowest level since records began in 1999, although it hit that point in the middle of 2011 and has been on a downward trajectory since.

The sharpest falls came in 2011 and 2012 when the size of the workforce shrunk each year by 5.7% and 5% respectively.

The size of the local government workforce has reduced by 2.5% in each of the last two years – 2014 and 2015. It has continued to fall during the first six months of 2016. 

While the number of people working in local government has greatly reduced, central government’s staffing levels have swelled.

At the start of 2010 there were 2.89 million people working for central government compared to 2.95 million now.

Only in 2010 and 2012 were there reductions in the size of its workforce, by 2.1% and 4.4% respectively. But since the end of 2012 staffing levels have steadily increased.

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