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Comensura Government Index shows Local Authorities cut temporary labour usage by 15% as AWR costs rise

The latest Comensura Government Index today shows there was a 15.2% decrease in the use of temporary labour across the public sector in the first quarter of 2012, when compared to the same time in 2011.

The North East saw the biggest drop in temporary recruitment at -127.3% with the West Midlands following close behind (-115.9%). London saw a drop of -25.5% in the use of temporary labour among Local Authorities.

Conversely, the same period also saw an increase in pay rates as a result, in part, to the implementation of the Agency Worker Regulations (AWR). Across the board there was an average 8.9% increase in hourly pay rates.

The Comensura Government Index reflects temporary labour usage across 79 Local Authorities and other public bodies. The Index is compiled by Comensura, specialists in organisational efficiency through the managed supply of people in large organisations across the public, private and not for profit sectors.

The number of temporary workers in driving and transportation roles saw a reduction of -39% along with IT roles (-29.2%) and engineering and technical roles (-26.9). A positive was a 20.5% increase in the number of temporary workers placed in construction roles, which could show some green shoots of recovery for the economy.

Young people suffered the greatest effects of reduced spending by Local Authorities. In the first quarter of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, the number of 25-34 year-olds employed on a temporary basis decreased by a significant -35.4%.

Whilst both men and women were affected by the reduction in temporary labour, women faired slightly better and now account for 45.3% of all temporary labour, up from 44.9% in the same period in 2011. This was in part due to a lower than expected reduction in the number of office/admin workers, a job category that accounts for almost 20% of all temporary workers and where women represent 70% of all temporary labour.

Jamie Horton, Managing Director, Comensura said today, -The decrease in temporary employment in the North East and West Midlands is reflected within the wider UK employment figures. Local Authorities have made a real and concerted effort to reduce the amount spent on temporary labour.”

He continued: -Looking forward, the decrease in usage of temporary labour is expected to continue. Local Authorities and other public bodies are increasingly gaining greater control of expenditure on temporary labour by implementing control methods to manage their expenditure in this area. Whilst there is better planning of workforce needs to ensure resources are spent in the right areas, the numbers of young people joining the workforce should be a concern for local authorities as they plan for the future.”

The Comensura Government Index shows the usage of temporary labour across 79 of Comensura’s clients in England and Wales during 2011 and 2012. The Comensura Government Index is distributed on a quarterly basis and uses a variety of metrics to measure the usage of temporary labour including Full Time Equivalent (FTE), the reasons for hire, job class, age and gender.

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