Public employment hits record high: 2.9 million, up 22,840 in 1Q23

Spain public employmentOpposition examinations in Spanish public sector

Public employment has grown in Spain by 22,842 people in the first quarter of the year, the largest increase in staff in the service of the Public Administration in this period since 2015, when regional and general elections were also held in Spain.

According to the updated public employment data at the end of March published yesterday by the Ministry of Social Security, with this increase in staff the total number of average affiliates in the public sector stands at 2,903,492 people, an all-time record, to which should be added the public employees who are not registered with the Social Security because they belong to mutual societies, according to the newspaper El Mundo.

Curiously, this increase in affiliates between January and March (at the end of December 2022 there were 2,880,650 public employees in the country), has occurred despite the fact that in the health sector, one of the sectors with the greatest staff shortages and where most mobilisations are taking place, employment has been destroyed: 14,887 fewer affiliates, bringing the total number of employees in health activities to 752,347.

By administrations, the State has incorporated 3,226 people in the first quarter; the autonomous communities, 12,335, and the local corporations, 7,281; 1.73 million public employees in Spain are women compared to 1.16 million men.

Catalonia is the autonomous community in which most new public staff were hired in the first quarter of the year, with an increase of 9,138 people (40% of all new hires), most of them (7,097) residing in Barcelona. The bulk of these reinforcements took place in the regional (+8,795) and local (+593) administrations, while the number of State employees in this region fell by 250 people.

It is followed by the Community of Madrid, with the incorporation of 4,269 people, of which almost half (2,014) are State employees, while 2,189 have been hired by the autonomous community and 65 by the local one; Andalusia, with 3,503 new members of the public sector; Castilla-La Mancha, with 3,140 incorporations, and Galicia, where 1,798 public employees have been added.

There have, however, been regional governments that have shed public sector staff, such as Andalusia (-2,065), the Canary Islands (-1,578) and the Basque Country (-882).

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The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.