Public Sector Job Losses not as severe as first feared

The Office of Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) Chairman, Robert Chote, said that \”The economy will continue to recover from recession, but at a slower pace than in the recoveries of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. There is considerable uncertainty around any economic forecasts. These are our best guesses and caution is something for policy makers to consider. The OBR has slashed its original forecast for public-sector job cuts by 200,000 for the period to 2015-16 as a whole. However, the OBR’s estimates of likely public-sector job losses is far lower than indicated by managers on the ground and it will be interesting to see if optimism in the public sector workforce now starts to pick up.

PwC Job Loss Predictions

Earlier in the year a report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) suggested that 500,000 jobs would be lost in the pubic sector due to Government spending cuts and a further 500,000 jobs would also be lost in the private sector due to knock on affects created by the loss of public sector contracts and reduced demand. The PwC report, titled ‘Sectoral and Regional Impact of the Fiscal Squeeze’ predicted losses equal to 3.4% of jobs across the United Kingdom.

The report predicted that the areas of the country most likely to be hit by cutbacks were Scotland (4.1%), Wales (4.3%) and the North East (4.1%). The Chief Economist at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, John Hawksworth, said that “Although the recovery may not be as strong this time as in the 1990s, we would expect at least some rise in private sector employment over the next five years despite the fiscal squeeze, bearing in mind that this squeeze should allow interest rates to remain lower for longer.”

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