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In the three months to December 2012, public sector reliance on temporary agency staff decreased. The Comensura government index shows that, in the period, local authorities cut the use of temporary labour by -0.1% when compared to a year ago.
However, this is the lowest quarterly decrease in 2012 and temporary staffing in the public sector is projected to grow by up to +2% this year, the research indicated.
The public sector has been hit by spending cuts, and with local authorities losing some of their permanent staff, vacancies are being filled by temporary workers, according to managing director of Comensura, Jamie Horton.
“We don’t expect this trend to change any time soon as the economic climate makes it difficult for organisations to gain authorisation for new permanent staff,” he said.
Although demand was overall down in the fourth quarter, the research found increased use of temporary workers within the public sector in industries such as IT, sales/marketing, legal and professional. Local authorities meanwhile posted falls in the use of temporary staff in construction, transportation and hospitality.
In London and the South East, the use of temporary labour was flat while the North West, South West, Wales and the West Midlands all saw increases.
The government index shows the usage of temporary labour across 79 of Comensura’s clients in England and Wales during 2011 and 2012.