By Max Clarke

Coalition efforts to shrink the public sector were today evidenced by the Office for National Statistics, who confirmed that 24,000 jobs had been shed in the first quarter of 2011.

Public sector union, UNISON reacted angrily to the figures, stating that as the private sector is as yet too weak to absorb the excess, their numbers will swell the ranks of the unemployed.

Said UNISON chief Dave Prentis: [The] “Government’s cuts have led to another 24,000 public sector workers losing their jobs. Economic inactivity has gone up and the private sector is still weak. It is no position to create the number of jobs needed to stop thousands more public sector workers joining the dole queues.

ONS figures, however, reveal that the private sector is growing and over the same period it increased by more than 100,000.

Local government saw the biggest fall- shedding some 27,000, though the Civil Service actually grew still more, to 513,000.

Wage growth continues to perform badly. At 1.6% in the private sector and 2.2% in the public, the growth rates are decreasing and stand at far less than the inflation rate- at 4.5% CPI. The result is a decrease in household incomes that further inhibits the prospect of a retail led recovery.

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