An online guide to monitoring where you work
Section 2 - Why measure the impact of public service reform?
The current government has decided to make unprecedented cuts to government spending, over £83 billion within the course of one parliament. Current figures suggest that the number of NHS workers fell by almost 20,000 between 2010 & 2011 and 71,000 people employed within the education sector lost their jobs in 2011.
Public sector reform and public service cuts to the workforce will impact negatively on those most likely to be found working within the sector - namely women and minority ethnic staff. Runnymede commissioned Yaojun Li, a Professor of Sociology at Manchester University, to explore the potential impact of public sector cuts on ethnic minority workers. Findings from the research included:
- Women are more likely than men to be employed within the public sector with 30% of all Black Caribbean women employed within the public sector.
- When unemployment rises during periods of recession, it begins earlier among Black groups and at its highest point during the 4 years between 2008 and 2011, Black unemployment was 3 times higher than that for the rest of the population. When the economic situation begins to improve, it takes longer for the impact to be felt among Black groups, as unemployment remains higher for them for a longer period of time.
- Given that Black African men, together with Chinese and Indian men, tend to have the highest levels of education, it is telling that their rate of unemployment is 12% compared to a 6% rate for White British men. They are also the most likely out of all men to be employed in the public sector.
It is possible that no real assessment of the impact of cuts on whole groups of people took place before the decision to make these reforms to the public sector. This makes it even more important to monitor the impact at employer level. The data gathered can be used to prevent further inequalities by bringing the results to the attention of employers and the government, locally and nationally.
- Optional - download the summary of the public sector cuts research paper
- Optional - download the case study on assessing the impact of public service reform on the specialist teaching workforce
- Go to Section 3 - How to monitor the impact on the workforce