Public service staff levels return to peak levels

Numbers on State payroll growing by 8,000 per year , Government expenditure report suggests

Recent growth in public service staffing means that at the end of 2017 overall numbers will be approaching peak levels.

Recent growth in public service staffing means that at the end of 2017 overall numbers will be approaching peak levels.

 

The number of staff employed in the public service will be back at the peak levels in place before the financial crash by the end of this year, budget documents show.

The Government’s expenditure report for 2018 suggests that the numbers on the State’s payroll is growing by about 8,000 per year. The number of public service staff reached a peak of about 320,000 in 2008 but fell to about 292,000 by 2012 as a result of recruitment restrictions and staff departures.

The report says that since the moratorium on public service recruitment was lifted in 2014, public service numbers have grown by more than 3 per cent per year on average. This equated to an additional 8,000 full-time equivalent staff per year and an additional €1.8 billion in pay bill expenditure between 2014 and this year.

“This recent growth in public service staffing means that at the end of 2017 overall numbers will be approaching peak levels,” the report says. “While the increased service delivery that can be provided through additional staff is important, particularly following a period of significant consolidation from an expenditure sustainability perspective, as highlighted in the (Government’s ) summer economic statement, in the future it is likely that more modest growth in numbers (inclusive of demographics) will be required.”