As has been widely reported, the ONS has revised up its figures for public sector employment. It says:
‘From 1991 to 1998, public sector employment fell every year, with an overall reduction of 815,000 for that period. From 1998 to 2004, public sector employment rose every year and is now 583,000 (11 per cent) higher than in June 1998. It is still, however, below the levels of 1991 and 1992. In the year to March 2004, employment in the private sector rose by 119,000, compared with a rise of 146,000 in the public sector.’
The ONS numbers are a year out of date: I estimate another 150,000 public sector jobs were created in the last 12 months, taking the total increase since 1997 Q2 to 725,000 thousand.
We hardly need to spell out again why this is the road to ruin, but it is interesting to compare New Labour’s achievement with the job creation record of previous socialist governments.
Amazingly it turns out they’re already streets ahead of both Wilson and Callaghan. The dismal 1964-1970 Wilson government managed just 550,000, and even the almost terminal 1974-1979 Wilson/Callaghan lot only clocked up 570,000.
What’s more, we know that Blair’s existing spending plans will give us at least another three years of expansion. At the end of which they will have created at least 1.2 million public sector jobs.
Revolutionary heroes everywhere must be proud.