By Max Clarke

The latest quarterly Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) and KPMG report suggests that employment in the UK’s public sector will take a beating in both workforce numbers and pay awards.

According to the report the employment index had fallen from +11 to -3 from last quarter, with redundancies “set to rise sharply in the first quarter of 2011 public sector,” and cuts planned in 52% of public employers and 77% of local governments. Estimates predict four out of 10 government organisations are planning redundancies in the first quarter of this year. Already one-third of NHS employers, half of central government and three-quarters in local government are likely to be affected.

With such grim news in the public sector, many are looking to the private sector to generate new jobs. Average pay in the private sector is also experiencing gains of 2.3% compared to -0.33% in the public sector.

Carmen Watson, Managing Director at Pertemps Recruitment Partnership, said:

“For some time now the Public Sector has been looking to re-engineer itself to ensure that it continues to find creative and cost-effective ways of delivering its essential front line services so the latest news comes as no surprise. Unfortunately, the public sector is now feeling the pain that private sectors felt 12-18 months ago. Job losses also include vacancies the Government is now not filling.”

Watson continued, “It remains to be seen as to whether the private sector can counter the impact of public sector reductions. Additionally, cancellation and postponement of government projects could impact on private sector in terms of its staffing needs, the outcome of which remains to be seen."

UK unemployment rose by 49,000 to almost 2.5 million in the three months to the end of November, according to the latest Office for National Statistics figures.