The preferred source of public sector employment data is the National Statistics Public Sector Employment (PSE) series. This is published quarterly by ONS and the Scottish Government and provides employment estimates at national and regional (government office) level based on public sector returns.
Where data is required for GB below regional level, Annual Business Inquiry (ABI) employee jobs estimates provide one possible source of information. This data provides estimates of the level of public and private sector employee jobs by Local Authority and Travel to Work Area from 2003 to 2008.
There are some limitations and caveats that should be understood before this data is used. In particular, unlike the Public Sector Employment figures these estimates are measures of jobs not people/employment. They cover employee jobs rather than the wider measure of workforce jobs ie they exclude self-employed jobs, HM Forces and Government Supported Trainees.
The estimates also exclude employee jobs in farm agriculture. Full details on the limitations and caveats of these estimates can be found in the first worksheet of the excel file.
Data and supporting information can be found below:
Since these ABI estimates were published ONS has released data on the number of employee jobs in the public and private sector by local authority for 2008,2009 and 2010 from the Business Register Employment Survey (BRES). The 2010 results can be found here.
BRES has replaced the ABI and this change has caused a break in the data in 2008. As a result BRES and ABI estimates should not compared directly. There is more information about this break on the ONS website.