Public Sector jobs more coveted than private sector roles

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Jobseekers favour roles in the public sector by over three to one, according to research from leading UK jobs website

In a survey of over 5,000 UK jobseekers, 55 per cent said they would prefer to work for a public sector organisation, compared to an equivalent role in the private sector. Only 16 per cent of jobseekers said they would favour the private sector.

Working culture, including favourable hours, holidays and flexi-time, was cited by 62 per cent as the main reason to apply for public sector roles over equivalent positions in the private sector. Meanwhile, nearly half (48 per cent) said a good pension deal is one of the primary reasons for applying for public sector jobs. A further 57 per cent would recommend a job in the public sector to graduate while 34 per cent said they are attracted to sector due to a feeling of public spiritedness.

Moral in the sector is also good despite job cuts and lack of wage increases; nearly a third (31%) of those surveyed rated moral is either ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, while fewer than 1 in 5  (21%) described it as ‘poor’.

In response to the findings, director of public sector at, Mike Booker said: “The public sector remains an attractive option to jobseekers looking for roles with reasonable working hours, as well as a fair deal on fundamental benefits like annual leave. With real wages falling across many industries and the rise of ‘zero-hours’ contracts, jobseekers are turning to the public sector as it has traditionally offered more job security. However, with the age of austerity set to continue and continued high demand for the positions available, competition will be as fierce as ever. For public sector recruiters this means a good opportunity to hire some of the very best talent.”

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  1. Bookers comments imply that there is not already talent to be had in the public sector, that it must be drawn from the private sector. This is a frustratiing and narrow minded view that I fear is widley spread. The complexities and challenges in the public sector are hugely challenging and I feel the skills and expertise that exisit within it are hidden and undervalued by this perception that it is all about good working hours and pensions. There is some serious work to be done too. More needs to be done to raise the profile of public sector professionals and their transferable skills, to encourage cross industry moves, both ways, rather than assuming that the only way forward for public sector is to populate it with ex-private sector employees. Similar views here

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