Public sector pay and employment: where are we now

Document type
Cribb, Jonathan; Davenport, Alex; Zaranko, Ben
Institute for Fiscal Studies
Date of publication
19 November 2019
IFS Briefing Note; BN263
Employment, Education and Skills, Social Policy, Health Services
Social welfare
Material type

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Employing public sector workers to help deliver public services is a major part of what government does. The number of workers employed by the government and how much they are paid matters not just for those individuals and their families, but also for the public finances and for the public services those employees help provide. This briefing note examines how the scale and make-up of public sector employment has evolved over the last 20 years. It compares public and private sector pay, and outlines the consequences of pay restraint since 2010 for differences between pay in each sector. It also considers differences in workplace pension enrolment and the generosity of employer contributions to pensions in the public and private sectors.

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