The taxpayer-funded State payroll has reduced 9.5% between December 2011 and December 2015, according to the Public Employment Statistics Summary published today.
As at the end of December 2015, employment in the central, regional and local government sectors stood at 658,565 people, an increase of 0.4% year on year, or 2,509 jobs, but a decrease of 9.5% compared to December 31, 2011.
This is the first time since 2011 that a year has ended with more workers than at the end of the previous one.
The Directorate-General for Administration and Public Employment, itself staffed by civil servants, said the increase was down to more teachers and more health sector workers being taken on and fewer people retiring.
Central government is the subsector that has shown the largest decrease in employment over the four years, with a reduction of 49,500 jobs, which in percentage terms is a decline of 9.0%.
The government employed end of 2015, about 12.7% of the working population and 14.4% of the employed population.
Of each ten employees in public administrations, six are women and the average monthly salary of full-time employees in public administrations was €1,402 in October 2015, an average overall change of -0.1% from the previous quarter.
During the Passos Coelho administration, the State shed more than 69,000 jobs and substantially exceeded the annual target of 2% that had been agreed with the Troika, despite a shaky start.
The intention of the current government is to halt the loss of human resources working in the State sector and to stabilise the number of civil servants.
One of António Costa’s initiatives was to recruit young graduates with no ties to a particular service. This would have strengthened the areas in greatest need but in negotiations with Brussels over the 2016 State Budget, promises had to be postponed and the government ended up committing to further civil service shrinkage.
The ‘two for one’ rule is back, first used in the José Sócrates government.
This rule allows one worker to be taken on, only if two have left the State’s employ.
This method is targeted to reduce the headcount by a further 10,000 employees by the end of 2016 – so much for Costa’s pre-election promise of keeping numbers level – saving €100 million of taxpayers’ money.