By Claire West

Payroll data made public for the first time by Bacs Payment Schemes Ltd (Bacs), the organisation behind Direct Debit and Bacs Direct Credit, has produced a fascinating insight into the UK job sectors hit hardest by the recession.

With over 90 per cent of the UK workforce paid via Bacs Direct Credit, it is possible to use the data to highlight trends across 14 key sectors and reveal the real winners and losers over the last three years.

Hardest hit is the construction sector which has seen a 25% slump in the number of Bacs salary and wage payments from August 2007 to August 2010. The transport, storage and communication sector also witnessed a substantial drop of just under 19%, while manufacturing decreased by nearly 15% over the three year period.

Meanwhile a 7% decrease in Bacs salary and wage payments in the hospitality sector is illustrative of the down-turn in the travel and entertainment industries seen during the recession.

On the other hand, mining and quarrying (8%), health and social work (7%), and education (3%) all welcomed a small increase in Bacs salary and wage payments over the same period, highlighting a more resilient nature to these sectors. The agricultural sector, often held up as being recession-proof, experienced a 2% increase.

Mike Hutchinson, head of marketing at Bacs, said: “By analysing our payment volumes over the last three years we have been able to build up a picture of the shape of major industry payroll trends through the recession. Perhaps not surprisingly, the construction sector has been the real loser, while mining and quarrying experienced the largest increase in payroll payments.”