Three new reports on partnership working between faith and local government.

Voluntary sector workforce has fallen by 70,000

Employment in the voluntary sector has dropped by 8.7 per cent in the last year, according to the latest Labour Force Survey results.

This is the third consecutive quarter of decline for the sector workforce with the third quarter results for 2011 showing that the sector employs 723,000 people, compared with 793,000 in Q3 2010.

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, blamed government spending cuts which, he said, "are hitting the voluntary sector disproportionately".

Over the past 12 months public sector employment has fallen by 4.3 per cent while private sector employment rose by 1.5 per cent.

Etherington said: “It is essential that government at all levels make cuts intelligently and with adequate notice, in accordance with the best value guidance for working with the voluntary sector.”

In September Etherington called on the government to reinstate the Future Jobs Fund as a way to support the sector.

Steeper decline for women

According to the findings, more women than men have been affected, with female employment in the sector falling by 10.2 per cent from 548,000 to 492,000 between Q3 2010 and Q3 2011.

Over the same period male employment decreased by 5.4 per cent, falling from 244,000 in to 231,000.

Falling pay

The survey also found that median pay in the sector had fallen by 2.8 per cent in contrast to the public and private sector where median pay increased. Median hourly pay for the voluntary sector fell from £10.29 to £10.

Keith Mogford, chief executive of Skills – Third Sector, said: “The reduction in average pay in the sector, when set against modest increases in both the private and public sectors, is a serious cause for concern.”

The Labour Force Survey is produced by the Third Sector Research Centre and the NCVO in partnership with Skills – Third Sector as part of an ongoing study into voluntary sector workforce trends.

This article is from www.civilsociety.co.uk – http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/governance/news/content/11273/further_decline_in_sector_workforce