Civil service employment up 11,000 in last year

Written by Richard Johnstone on 13 June 2018 in News

Government employment is now at the highest level since March 2015

Photo: PA

The latest official figures on civil service employment reveal that there were 430,000 people working across government in March, an increase of 11,000 posts compared with the same period in 2017.

The Office for National Statistics said that the employment increase continued the gradual increase in government staff from a low of 416,000 for the nine-month period to the end of 2016. The number of government employees was also up 3,000 compared to the last set of figures in December.

Government employment is now at the highest level since March 2015, which comes as the civil service undertakes preparations for the UK’s exit from the European Union, which in some departments has reversed the reduction in employee numbers as a result of government spending austerity since 2010.

A review by the Institute for Government earlier this year found that the six departments with the most work to do on Brexit – the Department for Exiting the European Union, the Department for International Trade, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Home Office, and HM Revenue and Customs – had seen particular increases in employee numbers. These had increased particularly quickly in the new departments, with DExEU growing from 50 to around 700 and DIT adding 800 new Brexit roles.

In addition, Defra expects to have filled 1,200 new full-time equivalent EU exit posts, while the Home Office is planning to have hired 1,500 new staff by September 2018, and HMRC is looking to take on between 3,000 and 5,000 by March 2019.

Overall public sector employment also increased in the three-month period to March, up 10,000, with a small increase in NHS employment also recorded alongside the increase in civil service employee numbers.

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Richard Johnstone
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Richard Johnstone is CSW's deputy and online editor and tweets as @CSW_DepEd

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