By Stelios Orphanides
The average number of workers employed by the government last year rose 4.3 per cent last year to 50,740 mainly on the hiring of professional soldiers, the statistical service said.
The increase was on a 23 per cent rise in the number of casual workers last year to 12,026, which more than offset a 1.7 per cent drop in the number of permanent workers, Cystat said in a statement on its website on Monday.
The number of those working for the civil service dropped 0.5 per cent in 2017 to 17,203 and included a 1.9 per cent drop of permanent workers to 11,905, Cystat said. The number of workers in education rose 1.9 per cent to 12,874 mainly on a 14 per cent rise of casual workers.
The number of security forces employees rose 21 per cent to 10,135 mainly on a 81 per cent increase in the number of casual staff to 2,735, Cystat said. The increase was part of a government plan to modernise the army by replacing a number of conscripts with professional soldiers.
Lastly, the number of hourly paid workers fell 2.2 per cent last year to 8,419 mainly on a 2.6 per cent decline in the number of permanent staffers, Cystat said.
The average number of public workers fell in 2015 to 48,630, the lowest figure in Cystat’s data series which go as back as to 2009, after peaking at 52,199 in 2010. Their number fell after a general public-sector hire freeze was applied as part of fiscal consolidation measures before and after the recent financial crisis.