Government spending cuts are to blame for a "deeply troubling" 70,000 drop in the number of people working in the charity sector over the last year, a study has revealed.
Employment in the area has fallen by 8.7% over the previous 12 months, marking this the third consecutive quarter of decline, according to the latest Labour Force Survey.
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, was a serious cause for concern.
“The sector’s ability to retain a well-motivated and talented workforce will be critical to its ability to meet the future challenge of delivering higher quality services to more people with less resource,” he warned.
Sir Stuart Etherington, NCVO chief executive, also described the steep drop in the size of the sector’s workforce as “deeply troubling”, adding that it proved spending cuts were hitting the voluntary sector disproportionately.
According to the survey’s findings, more women than men have lost their jobs in the industry, with female employment falling by 10.2% from 548,000 to 492,000 between the third quarter of 2010 and the same quarter last year.
Male employment dropped by 5.4% to 231,000 over the same period. Meanwhile, median gross hourly pay fell by nearly 3% and currently stands at £10.00 per hour.