A warning that the public sector could lose up to 350,000 jobs over the next five years has been issued by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Its chief economist John Philpott says the recession will force employers to cut their workforce and could lead to an escalation in strikes and other disruption.
“The public sector has yet to feel the full impact of the recession, and the resultant bloodbath in the public finances,” said Mr Philpott.
The latest Office for National Statistics figures show that, overall, UK unemployment is rising faster in this recession than at any time since the 1980s.
Despite this, employment in public sector occupations such as education, health and public administration were up 2 per cent year-on-year.
“The CIPD’s current estimate is that the fiscal squeeze implied by government plans will result in a total of 350,000 job cuts in the public sector overall between 2010-11 and 2014-15,” said Mr Philpott.
“This will be preceded by around 30,000 job cuts in local authorities in the next year.”
He added this would “inevitably have an impact on levels of public service provision”.