NHS Staffing Up as Public Sector Employment Falls

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Overall public sector employment in Scotland fell by 1.3 per cent over the last year, statistics published today show.  When public sector financial institutions are excluded, public sector employment fell by 0.9 per cent from the second quarter of 2009.

However, NHS staffing levels in the second quarter of 2010 are still some 800 higher than the second quarter of 2009 – up 0.5 per cent.


Overall public sector employment in Scotland fell by 1.3 per cent over the last year, statistics published today show.  When public sector financial institutions are excluded, public sector employment fell by 0.9 per cent from the second quarter of 2009.

However, NHS staffing levels in the second quarter of 2010 are still some 800 higher than the second quarter of 2009 – up 0.5 per cent.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said:

“Delivering cost-effective, joined up services which provide real value for money is vitally important in Scotland’s public sector – particularly as we face up to the huge challenge of dealing with Westminster imposed spending cuts.

“Today’s figures show we remain on target to see more staff employed in the NHS at the end of the current Parliament than at the start.

“The Scottish Government’s Simplification Programme has already delivered a reduction in the number of public bodies from a baseline of 199 to 154.

“We are on track to reduce this further to around 120 in 2011, as well as delivering estimated net savings of around 125 million pounds by 2013 and estimated net recurring annual savings of around 39 million pounds thereafter. The Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act, passed earlier this year, includes powers that can help the process of delivering greater efficiencies.

“Our public services must be responsive to the challenges which lie ahead – and we are firmly focused on achieving this through a sharper, better co-ordinated Scottish public sector.”

Meanwhile
The Scottish Government will continue its robust action to support jobs, skills and training, Enterprise Minister Jim Mather said in response to labour market statistics published today.

Scotland’s ILO unemployment rate was 8.9 per cent, an increase of 0.8 percentage points or 25,000 over the three months to July 2010.

The new figures also show a rise in employment in Scotland of 25,000 in the quarter to July, with the employment rate increasing by 0.7 percentage points – the second consecutive rise, and the largest quarterly increase in Scottish employment since the December 2006 -February 2007 quarter. Last month’s labour market statistics recorded the first rise in Scottish employment for seven months.

Mr Mather warned that rising unemployment demonstrates that spending cuts imposed by Westminster, which are “too quick and too deep”, pose a significant threat to Scotland’s fragile recovery.

He said:

“With a large inflow into the labour market in this period, we are generating significant numbers of new jobs in the Scottish economy. As well as being the second consecutive rise in employment, today’s figures are also the biggest quarterly increase in employment in Scotland since the three month period to February 2007. We also have the second consecutive fall in the economic inactivity rate – which experienced the sharpest drop in the three months to July 2010 since records began.

“However, while the employment rise is obviously an encouraging sign – and shows that the Scottish Government is right to prioritise action to support jobs, skills and training – the very unwelcome rise in unemployment highlights that recovery is fragile, and is threatened by UK Government spending cuts that are too quick and too deep.”

Mr Mather highlighted the action that the Scottish government are currently taking through the Economic Recovery Plan and pointed to hundreds of new jobs in Scotland at Barclays and Jet2.com.  He also stressed the significance of this weeks announcement from Spanish energy giant Iberdrola.

Mr Mather added:
“Scotland’s labour market is also benefiting from the strength of our energy industry – as shown by this week’s news that Spanish power giant Iberdrola will invest £3 billion in Scottish businesses over the next two years.”