Almost half the jobs created in the UK since 1997 have been in the public sector, according to research.
The study by broking firm Williams de Broe, based on figures from the Office of National Statistics, found one in four UK employees now works for the State.
While chancellor Gordon Brown has pledged thousands of jobs cuts across the public sector, statistics show 861,231 new jobs were created in the public sector between summer 1997 and autumn 2004.
The figures also show a big step forward for gender diversity, with three-quarters of the new recruits being women. This means one in three female staff now work in the public sector.
David Smith, chief economist at Williams de Broe and the author of the research, said: “The rise in the public sector workforce is even greater than we previously thought. Brown’s claim to be going on an economy drive and to be cutting unnecessary jobs has had no impact on the figures.”