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25 April, 2024
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Government employment hits record high

15.3% staff earnings increase in 2024

Panayiotis Rougalas

Panayiotis Rougalas

In ongoing discussions about new hires and the 2024 budget in Parliament, the focus is on the remarkable increase in government employment, surpassing levels from 2012.

Finance Minister Makis Thunderbolt made it clear during his Friday speech that, as part of the 2024 budget amendment process, the total increase, excluding 604 positions related to the education sector, will rise to 101 instead of the initially calculated 52.

He emphasized that the creation of 604 posts is essential to reduce the number of temporary staff, maintaining total public sector employment without significantly burdening the state wage bill.

From October 2012 to October 2023, government employment in Cyprus has risen from 51,378 to 53,554 people. This growth, which began after the country successfully exited the memoranda in March 2016, indicates a steady increase. Despite declines post-2013, employment has consistently risen, reaching 53,271 in October 2022 and 53,554 in October 2023.

A detailed examination of the data reveals notable shifts in employment across sectors, particularly in education and security forces.

The 2024 budget anticipates a 15.3% increase in staff earnings, covering basic salaries, indexed allowances, special allowances, contributions to pension funds, health, and the new occupational pension benefits plan. This increase is estimated to amount to 3.72 billion euros in 2024, compared to 3.23 billion euros in 2023.

The statistics from the Statistical Service of Cyprus reflect an overall increase in the number of permanent and temporary staff from 41,734 in October 2012 to 46,690 in October 2023.

However, the number of permanent residents has decreased from 33,344 to 24,853, while the number of temporary residents has almost tripled, from 8,390 to 21,837.

The educational service has experienced a significant increase, with employment rising from 13,040 in October 2012 to 16,077 in October 2023. Security forces also show a similar trend, increasing from 10,071 in October 2012 to 13,007 in October 2023.

The article concludes by highlighting the potential challenges and questions surrounding the sustainability of this "boom" in government employment, considering the financial implications and the need for addressing pressing migration issues.

The 2024 budget aims to meet the needs of the public service by filling permanent posts rather than relying on non-permanent staff.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

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