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Workforce shrinks further

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Job cuts in local government have topped quarter of a million since the chancellor first announced massive cuts in funding for the sector.

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics shows council employee numbers have fallen by 268,200 since the last quarter of 2010 when the chancellor announced a 28% cut in funding.

As of the second quarter in 2012 the number of local government jobs has dipped below the two million mark and now stands at 1,957,900, an 8% drop from the same time last year.

The largest annual reduction was seen in the south-west, where the headcount fell by 15%, powered by a 52% reduction in the number of people employed at Cornwall Council.

The publication of the data for council employees comes after the ONS revealed that employment in the wider public sector had contracted for the eleventh successive quarter.

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