Public sector jobs cut by up to 7pc

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Public sector employment fell by more than a quarter of a million last year, with one area seeing a seven per cent slump in the wake of the Government’s spending cuts, according to research.

A study by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that public sector employment decreased by 276,000, or 4.4 per cent, across the UK over the year to last autumn.

The South West suffered the biggest reduction at 37,000 (seven per cent), followed by the North West (35,000 – 4.8 per cent), South East (30,000 – 4.2 per cent), Yorkshire and the Humber (20,000 – 3.6 per cent) and London (28,000 – 3.4 per cent).

Public sector employment fell by 233,000 in England (4.6 per cent), 23,000 in Scotland (3.8 per cent), 9,000 in Wales (2.8 per cent) and 4,000 in Northern Ireland (1.7 per cent).

London had the highest number of employees in the public sector towards the end of last year at 790,000, followed by the North West with 680,000.