Public jobs, private jobs

I haven’t had a chance to number-crunch today’s unemployment figures yet. But there was an interesting chart in the Audit Commission report – also out today – on how councils are faring in the recession.

For all the talk of the public sector cutting jobs and sharing the general pain, the figures seem to show a rather different story.

The chart on page 19 (based on ONS figures) shows a fall in employment of about 210,000 in manufacturing, 195,000 in distribution and hospitality and 180,000 in finance and business services.

Meanwhile there was a rise of about 170,000 workers in public administration, education and health.

This is likely to fuel the suspicion in some quarters that state-employed workers are cossetted from the downturn; a claim which is bitterly contested by the public sector unions.