While the number of public sector workers in Estonia dropped from 138,000 to 137,000 in Estonia last year, the number of workers of the central government grew from 55,000 to 56,000.
The number of people employed in public service was 29,361 last year and 29,950 in 2013. Of them 23,571 worked in state administrative agencies and 5,790 in local government administrative agencies. In 2013 the figures were 24,217 and 5,733, respectively, it appears from a memorandum to be put before the Cabinet.
Of public sector workers 87 percent were employed in the government sector, including 41 percent in central government and 46 percent in local government agencies. People employed in the public sector make up one-fifth of the total number of employed in Estonia.
The biggest increase took place in the number of people employed by foundations, which grew by 1,672. Partially this was a result of the transformation of museums and concert organizing agencies in the area of the Ministry of Culture into foundations. Foundations meanwhile have expanded their workforce numbers too, with the biggest increase recorded in the number of employees of SA Innove, which hired 98 new people in connection with the launch of the Rajaleidja (Pathfinder) project.
The increase in the number of central government employees is a result of some former public sector and local government institutions being made a part of the central government. In 2014 this was done, for instance, with the foundations SA Tartu Kiirabi and AS Louna-Eesti Haigla operating the Tartu ambulance service and hospitals of South Estonia, respectively, which were brought together under the SA Tartu Ulikooli Kliinikum (Tartu University Clinic) foundation.
People with higher education made up 41 percent of all the people employed in Estonia in 2014, 2.1 percentage points more than the year before, according to data from Statistics Estonia. Among members of the public service people with higher education made up approximately 75 percent compared with 70.7 percent in 2013.
The average pay of officials of the state was 1,338 euros a month last year, up from 1,204 euros in 2013. The average pay of officials of local governments rose from 1,077 euros to 1,179 euros. The pay rise of 7 percent for central government employees was faster than the 6 percent rise in the national average pay in Estonia, its stands in the memorandum.
The report says that given budgetary constraints and demographic trends, the size of the public service must be reduced consistently with the decrease in the numbers of working age population. This means that on the level of the government sector the number of workers must decrease by approximately 700 people per year and on the level of the central government by 400 people per year.
In addition to the government sector, government invested companies providing goods and service, such as the energy group Eesti Energia and port company Port of Tallinn, are part of the public sector in in Estonia, making up about 15 percent of the sector's size. Also the central bank of Estonia is part of the public sector.