Staff turnover up notably in public service

Ministry of Finance (at the Superministry).
Ministry of Finance (at the Superministry). Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Public servants made up 2.9 percent of the working-age population last year, while staff turnover has grown by leaps and bounds, Estonia's public service annual overview reveals.

Public service jobs were held by 2.9 percent of working-age people last year, which is on par with previous years' results. Estonia had 28,424 public servants in 2021, with 22,922 working for central government agencies and 5,502 for local governments, for an increase of 53 public servants since 2020.

Public service only covers agencies working for constitutional institutions, government agencies, city and municipality departments. Public servants are divided into officials and employees.

The average public servant was 43.8 years of age, which is only slightly higher than in previous years. Men make up 44 percent of public servants and women 56 percent.

Due mostly to legal requirements, 80 percent of officials have higher education. 56 percent of employees have higher education, while special public servants tend to have either secondary or vocational education at 48 percent.

Special servants made up 37 percent of public service workers, with their number the highest at the Police and Border Guard Board, followed by the Defense Forces and Rescue Board.

The administrative area of the Ministry of Social Affairs saw the most new public servants last year, while the number of leavers was greatest at the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Public service staff turnover was 15 percent. Voluntary turnover, or cases not tied to external factors, such as reassignment, was clocked at 8.7 percent.

Employee turnover has grown notably from 2020. Ample job offers following the end of the coronavirus restrictions period are seen as one of the reason.

The change of government and president last year are also believed to have contributed.

Public sector institutions must often compete with the private sector for competent employees. Examples of such fields include information technology, legal and finance where private sector salaries tend to be higher.

The national average gross salary with bonuses was €1,548, with the public service average at €1,851. The average monthly wage of officials was €1,967 and that of employees €1,659. The salaries of state officials before taxes grew by 2.5 percent and those of local government officials by 3 percent.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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