Public sector employment and expenditure by region Standard Note: SN/EP/5625 Last updated: 29 February 2012 Author: Adam Mellows-Facer Section Economic Policy and StatisticsThis note shows the regional pattern of public spending and public sector employment.Northern Ireland, Wales and the North East have the highest proportion of public sectoremployment and also the highest public expenditure as a share of GDP. London, the SouthEast and the East of England have the lowest public shares of both employment and GDP.There are some caveats to bear in mind in interpreting these data. Not all employment andpublic expenditure can be attributed to a particular country or region. Also public expenditureincludes transfer payments which do not directly contribute to GDP. These points areexplained more fully in section 1 below.Contents1 Notes 2 2 Public sector employment 3 3 Public sector expenditure 4 This information is provided to Members of Parliament in support of their parliamentary dutiesand is not intended to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual. It shouldnot be relied upon as being up to date; the law or policies may have changed since it was lastupdated; and it should not be relied upon as legal or professional advice or as a substitute forit. A suitably qualified professional should be consulted if specific advice or information isrequired.This information is provided subject to our general terms and conditions which are availableonline or may be provided on request in hard copy. Authors are available to discuss thecontent of this briefing with Members and their staff, but not with the general public.
1 NotesIt should be noted that not all public sector employment or expenditure can be identified byregion: • Approximately 40,000 public sector employees cannot be assigned to a region. • Public expenditure in 2010/11 identifiable by region accounted for 80% of total public expenditureThese data are therefore indicative of the relative importance of the public sector by regiononly. They should not be used to infer national totals.The Treasury offers the following warning about comparing public expenditure betweenregions: Most public spending is planned to benefit categories of individuals and enterprises irrespective of location, or where locations are prioritised using national criteria. The regional analysis presented in this chapter shows where the individuals and enterprises that benefited from public spending were located. It does not mean that all such spending was planned to benefit a particular region, though a proportion of public spending is planned on a regional basis.Comparisons on the basis of proportions of Gross Value Added (GVA) should be used withcaution. GVA (the denominator) does not include transfer payments, such as social securitybenefits, which make up a large proportion of public expenditure (the numerator). Transferpayments do not contribute directly to GDP, although clearly they need to be financed, asthey represent a transfer of spending power from one person to another rather than apayment for economic output. The percentage figures shown will therefore overstate thepublic sector’s direct contribution to GDP. 2
2 Public sector employment Table 1 Public sector employment by country and region Headcount, Q3 2011, not seasonally adjusted Number % of UK % of thousands total employment North East 274 4.6% 25.0 North West 680 11.4% 21.5 Yorkshire and the Humber 536 9.0% 22.5 West Midlands 496 8.3% 20.7 East Midlands 382 6.4% 19.0 East of England 444 7.5% 17.1 London 790 13.3% 18.5 South East 678 11.4% 17.1 South West 495 8.3% 19.6 England 4,775 80.2% 19.6 Wales 333 5.6% 25.6 Scotland 589 9.9% 23.7 Northern Ireland 218 3.7% 27.7 United Kingdom 5,957 100.0% 20.6 Source: ONS Statistical Bulletin, Public Sector Q3 2011, Table 6 Note: (a) UK total includes around 40,000 employees not allocated to a region Public sector employment as % of total employment Northern Ireland Wales North East Scotland Yorkshire & the Humber North West West Midlands United Kingdom England South West East Midlands London South East East 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 3
3 Public sector expenditure Table 2 Identifiable public expenditure on services by country and region 2010-11 outturn Public spending as a £ million % UK total per head % of GDP (a) North East 24,764 4.5% 9,501 60% North West 65,102 11.8% 9,386 54% Yorkshire and Humberside 45,122 8.2% 8,512 50% East Midlands 36,293 6.6% 8,098 45% West Midlands 47,347 8.6% 8,679 51% East 45,687 8.3% 7,834 41% London 79,799 14.4% 10,198 29% South East 64,170 11.6% 7,529 34% South West 42,694 7.7% 8,096 43% England 450,978 81.5% 8,634 41% Wales 29,906 5.4% 9,947 66% Scotland 53,085 9.6% 10,165 50% Northern Ireland 19,197 3.5% 10,668 68% UK (identifiable by region) 553,166 100.0% 8,884 43% Note (a ) Identifiable public spending as a % of w orkplace Gross Value Added Sources: HM Treasury, Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses update October 2011 ONS, Regional GVA Public spending as a % of GDP Northern Ireland Wales North East North West West Midlands Yorkshire & Humberside Scotland East Midlands UK (identifiable by region) South West East England South East London 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 4