The place of public services

Peck, Frank ORCID logo ORCID: (2017) The place of public services. In Cumbria Magazine, 2017 (Aug). p. 25.

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Professor Frank Peck of the University of Cumbria’s Centre for Regional Economic Development writes for in-Cumbria on the big issues of the day and the data behind them. This month he asks if the unfashionable and squeezed public sector, which employs 60,000 in Cumbria, can be an engine of growth. Recent debates on the economy have included questions about public sector pay and the wisdom (or otherwise) of continued austerity policies. In the aftermath of the economic crisis of 2008, it has been unfashionable, perhaps, to consider public services as vehicles for regeneration. Attention has been diverted elsewhere in the search for local growth in the private sector (no stone unturned). Yet it remains the case that many people in Cumbria can directly attribute their economic wellbeing to employment in the delivery of public services, either directly via the state or indirectly through private providers and the voluntary sector. The health and social care sector alone accounts for 32,000 jobs in the county, 13.6% of the total. The health sector actually provides employment for more Cumbrian residents than either retailing or accommodation and food services. Add to this those employed in education, local government, emergency services and various functions of central government and the total employed sums to 60,000, representing around a quarter of all jobs in Cumbria. The wages and salaries paid generate considerable spend that contributes towards the support of many small and medium-sized businesses providing goods and services in the private sector, and stimulates a more buoyant housing market.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: In Cumbria Magazine
Publisher: CN Group
Departments: Centre for Regional Economic Development (CRED)
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2018 10:51
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 18:02


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