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Salary comparison: government work or the private sector?

Category: blog

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If you are choosing to take a government job you’re probably keen for a role that has a wider impact on society. But does doing that mean you need to take a pay cut compared to the private sector?

Average weekly earnings for regular pay in the public sector were around £506 a week in April 2017, that compared to a slightly lower £464 in the private sector. This means that in the bigger picture, pay in the public sector has increased by around 1.1% per year since April 2011. That’s less than private sector salaries (2.1%) and inflation (1.9%), says the Office of National Statistics. There are a number of reasons for that which we’ll explore here.

What affects salaries in the civil service?

The first thing to consider is there’s a 1% pay cap that was introduced by the Government to keep wages bills down. However, wages growth has continued at a slightly higher rate than this. Jobs in the civil service remain appealing.

This growth has been possible because the way the civil service operates is changing. Cuts to services means there are fewer civil service roles than in 2011. However, the jobs there are are often highly-skilled and well-paid. For example, average public sector weekly earnings in London are a third higher than rates in Scotland. This brings up the overall average.

Job satisfaction in the public sector?

We also know public sector workers are staying in their jobs for longer and becoming more skilled. The average length of time in a post has risen from 8.7 years in 2004 to 9.8 years in 2017. On average, the longer someone is in a role, the better the salary.

There are a wide variety of reasons to work in forward-thinking and diverse government jobs. Search for vacancies with government employers and available civil service roles here.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email info@vercida.com for more information.

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