New figures just released from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings courtesy of the Office of National Statistics shows that contractors working within the private sector are earning less money than those who work on public sector contracts.

According to the statistics, there has been a 3.1% rise in the average take home pay for public sector workers in the third quarter of 2009, with an average weekly wage of £539. Meanwhile, private sector earnings have only seen a 1% increase with average weekly wages totalling £465.

The Annual Survey figures also confirmed that those working in the public sector were experiencing a rise in employment opportunities. The second quarter of 2009 saw employment within the public sector rise by 13,000 to over six million. By contrast, employment in the private sector over the same period fell by 230,000.

However, the Institute of Employment Studies (IES) believes that pay within the public sector is set to decrease.

Duncan Brown, Director of reward services at the IES, Duncan Brown commented: “Private sector pay is rapidly going to escalate back up to three per cent, but in the public sector you’re going to see the reverse.

“Clearly now the government is serious about freezing pay in the public sector. You’re going to see that, very evidently, with some very different effects to the private sector – there’s been remarkably little industrial action in the private sector, whereas in the public sector you’ve got stronger unions.”

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