Civil service numbers continue slow climb

ONS figures also reveal number of employees at newly-established Government Property Agency for the first time

Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The civil service headcount grew by 1,000 in the three months to June 2018, representing only marginal grown but contributing to an increase of 8,000 since June 2017. The 1.8% increase brought the total to 431,000.

Civil service numbers have risen since slowly hitting a record low of 416,000 in the latter half of 2016, but are still some way off the peak of 566,000 in June 2005.


Notable moves within government over the quarter include 350 staff moving into the Department for Education from the National College for Teaching and Leadership, an executive agency of the DfE, when the NCTL closed on 1 April.

A further 160 staff transferred from the Home Office to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory in May 2018. Staff were transferred with Dstl became responsible for the staff and operations of the Home Office Centre for Applied Science and Technology, which develops technological solutions to tackle crime, according to the laboratory’s annual report.

The figures also account for the first time for the Government Property Agency, an executive agency of the Cabinet Office, and the Welsh Revenue Authority, a non-ministerial department of the Welsh Government, which were both launched on 1 April. According to figures, the GPA employed 110 at June 2018 and the Welsh Revenue Agency employes 50 people.

The statistics are included in an ONS report detailing overall public sector employment across the UK, which stood at 5.34 million people in June 2018. This figure was 4,000 fewer than three months earlier, which the ONS said was entirely due to the transfer of Welsh housing associations to the private sector.

Excluding this transfer, the number of people employed in the public sector rose by 16,000 over the quarter.

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