Saturday 23 July 2005

Our booming "job" market

There was fascinating letter in yesterday's Scotsman:
Recent reports have highlighted the number of public sector jobs in Scotland. On 16 July, you reported that one in four people are employed in the public sector, more than in any other western nation.

The Scottish Executive defence is: "Since 2002 the number of people working in the public sector has gone up by [only] 27,600, while the private sector has increased by 58,400."

I know that I shouldn't be surprised but one does wonder what planet these people are on. If the number of "public" sector jobs had increased at the same rate as those in the private sector the total would have been around 19,500 and not 27,600. Putting it another way, government jobs grew by 40% more than the number needed to keep them at the already ludicrously high level. I believe that I wrote some time ago that I was destined to be the last private sector worker in Scotland. Perhaps I'll even enjoy a flat tax rate: say, a million percent.

1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Comment made on previous template:

I wouldn't want to comment on whether the proportion of Scots in public employment was a good or bad thing. However, I'd point out that one reason for high public employment in Scotland compared with other Western countries is that a number of services are provided by the state sector in Scotland that are nominally private in other western countries. Most Western countries will have a "private" health service, even if, in most cases, it is publicly funded and heavily regulated. Sweden has private postal services; Denmark has mainly private fire services; England has private water services, and many more private schools than Scotland. The private finance initiative will produce jobs that are fully funded by the state, but appear as "private" in the quoted survey. The employees of Kilmarnock prison for instance will be excluded from the ranks of public employees. Surely the ideological debate should be about whether each service is best performed by the public sector or the private sector, rather than about the raw employment statistics?

25 July 2005, 17:24:24 GMT+01:00