Civil Service employment was 418,343, down 15,469 (3.6%) on 31 March 2015.
There were 316,792 full-time civil servants, 6,198 (1.9%) fewer than 31 March 2015. The number of civil servants working part-time fell by 9,271 (8.4%) to 101,551.
Of those who declared their ethnicity, 11.2% were from an ethnic minority.
Of those who declared their disability status, 9.2% were disabled.
Over half (50.6%) of all employees leaving the Civil Service were from the Administrative responsibility level. The administrative level makes up 36.8% of the Civil Service.
More than 80% of civil servants were aged 30 to 59. The number of civil servants aged 60 or above made up 8.3% of the workforce.
Median gross annual earnings (excluding overtime or one-off bonuses) for Civil Service employees were £25,350, an increase of £370 (1.5%) on 31 March 2015.Back to table of contents
This bulletin contains an overview of Civil Service employment statistics on 31 March 2016 in context with statistics from previous years. The earliest available data on a consistent basis are for 31 March 2008. Data prior to this were collected for different reference dates in the year. There were also changes in coverage prior to 2008. Longer time series for total Civil Service employment are available from the Public Sector Employment release. The latest published statistics are for Quarter 2 (June) 2016 when Civil Service employment was 415,730 (384,250 on a full-time equivalent basis).
The release counts all home Civil Service employees. It excludes the Northern Ireland Civil Service, other Crown servants and employees of the wider public sector. There are home Civil Service employees based in Northern Ireland and Overseas.
Statistics are presented on a range of factors including working pattern, gender, ethnicity, disability status, earnings and location of the Civil Service workforce.
For 2016, there are two annexes included for the first time. Annex A shows Civil Service employment by responsibility level and sexual orientation (table 1) and responsibility level by religion or belief (table 2). Annex B shows each government department and their respective agencies or organisations by organisational median pay and a ratio to the highest earner in that organisation. The estimates for the highest earner and departmental median pay are calculated using a differing methodology than those used in annual reports and accounts. Further information on the methodology used is supplied within the annex.Back to table of contents
Figure 1 shows the number of Civil Service employees from 2008 to 2016. At 31 March 2016, there were 418,343 civil servants, down 15,469 (3.6%) on 31 March 2015. Since 2008, the Civil Service workforce has decreased by 106,814 (20.3%) from 525,157.
Figure 2 shows the change in working pattern from 2008 to 2016.
There was a decrease of 6,198 (1.9%) in the number of civil servants working full-time to 316,792 from 31 March 2015 to 31 March 2016. There was also a decrease of 9,271 (8.4%) in the number of part-time civil servants, to 101,551 over this period.
Figure 3 shows Civil Service employment by known responsibility level.
As at 31 March 2016, 36.8% of the Civil Service worked at the Administrative responsibility level, 26.2% worked at the Executive Officer level, 23.3% worked at Higher or Senior Executive Officer level and 9.4% worked at Grade 6 or 7 level. The remaining 1.2% worked at Senior Civil Service level with 3.1% in the ‘not reported’ category.
From 31 March 2015 to 31 March 2016 employment increased in the Senior Civil Service responsibility level by 59 (1.2%) and by 432 (1.1%) at the Grade 6 and 7 responsibility level.
Over the same period, employment decreased by 1,289 (1.3%) in the Senior and Higher Executive Officer responsibility level, 597 (0.5%) in the Executive Officer responsibility level and by 14,069 (8.4%) in the Administrative responsibility level.
At 31 March 2016, 54.2% of all Civil Service employees were women, up 0.4 percentage points from 31 March 2015.
The proportion of women working at Senior Civil Service level on 31 March 2016 was 40.1%, an increase of 1.2 percentage points from 31 March 2015 and 8.2 percentage points on 31 March 2008. The proportion of female Grade 6 and 7s has been steadily increasing, from 38.1% on 31 March 2008 to 44.8% on 31 March 2016.
There were more women than men in the Executive Officer and Administrative responsibility levels. The proportion of women increased in all responsibility levels in the year to 31 March 2016, as shown in figure 4.
Gender and age
More than 80% of civil servants were in the 30 to 59 age group on 31 March 2016. Since 31 March 2015 there has been an increase in age band 16 to 19 of 330 (27.5%) and age band 20 to 29 of 2,590 (6.5%). All other age bands showed a decrease in employment.
There were more women than men in the 20 to 29, 30 to 39, 40 to 49 and 50 to 59 age bands. There were more males than females in the other age bands, as shown in figure 5.
On 31 March 2016, there were 43,050 Civil Service employees in Scotland, 31,170 in Wales and 3,530 in Northern Ireland.
The English region with the highest number of civil servants on 31 March 2016 was London with 78,230 (18.7%) employees. The lowest was the East Midlands with 19,420 (4.6%); this is shown in figure 6.
The number of civil servants in Wales increased by 1.2%. All other regions showed a decrease in employment, the largest decreases (excluding overseas) being West Midlands which decreased by 3,260 (10.9%) and South East which decreased by 3,560 (8.3%). The number of civil servants employed overseas decreased by 490 (10.3%).
Entrants and leavers
There were 8,677 more leavers from the Civil Service than entrants between 31 March 2015 and 31 March 2016. A total of 38,708 people left the Civil Service whilst 30,031 people joined.
Employees at the Administrative responsibility level accounted for 58.6% of entrants compared with 50.6% of leavers. For all other responsibility levels there were fewer entrants than leavers between 31 March 2015 and 31 March 2016, as shown in figure 7.
Figure 8 shows the proportion of civil servants with known ethnic origin by responsibility level. Of the Civil Service employees as of 31 March 2016 who declared their ethnicity, 11.2% were from an ethnic minority, an increase of 0.5 percentage points on March 2015.
At 31 March 2016, 12.8% of employees at Executive Officer responsibility level and 11.7% at Administrative responsibility level were from an ethnic minority. In comparison, 7.0% of those at the Senior Civil Service level were from an ethnic minority, an increase of 0.4 percentage points from 31 March 2015. All other responsibility levels showed an increase in the proportion of ethnic minority employees from last year to this year.
On 31 March 2016, 9.2% of civil servants who declared their disability status were disabled, an increase of 0.3 percentage points compared with March 2015, this is shown in figure 9. The proportion of employees with a declared disability was greater in lower responsibility levels. At the Administrative responsibility level, 10.1% of employees who declared their disability status were disabled. This compares with 4.7% of employees at Senior Civil Service level.
At 31 March 2016, 46.5% of civil servants with a declared national identity declared themselves as British or Mixed British. Employees alternatively declared themselves as English (36.6%), Scottish (8.0%), Welsh (5.8%) or Northern Irish (0.5%). The remaining 2.7% recorded another national identity, as seen in figure 10.
Figure 11 shows the median annual gross salary of all employees by gender and responsibility level. The median gross salary of civil servants on 31 March 2016 was £25,350, an increase of £370 on 31 March 2015. Employees overseas had the highest median earnings (£39,920), followed by employees in London (£33,030). The regions with the lowest median earnings were North East (£20,190), Northern Ireland (£23,240), North West (£23,240), Scotland (£23,480) and Wales (£23,580). The increase in median pay should be considered alongside the compositional impact on the make-up of the civil service workforce by responsibility level, whereby the number of employees working at the Administrative level decreased by over 14,000, while there were increases in employment for the Senior Civil Service level and Grades 6 and 7.
The gender pay gap for all employees, calculated as the difference between the median pay for males and females, increased from 12.0% in March 2015 to 13.6% in March 2016. This measure depends on the pay of part-time employees being converted to full-time equivalent salaries. The gender pay gap for full-time employees increased from 9.0% to 12.0%. There was a fall from 15.4% to 11.5% for part-time employees. For the “all employees” category the largest gender pay gap is for Senior and Higher Executive Officers, increasing from 3.8% to 4.6%. The Senior Civil Service level gender pay gap fell from 4.9% to 3.7% from March 2015 to March 2016.
Reconciliation of Annual and Quarterly Civil Service Employment Statistics (Table 11)
This statistical bulletin presents a range of statistics for the year ending 31 March 2016, based on findings from the Annual Civil Service Employment Survey (ACSES).
We also collect and publish quarterly Civil Service employment statistics as part of the Public Sector Employment (PSE) statistical bulletin. These quarterly statistics should be used when seeking to measure the size of the Civil Service over time. The latest published statistics are for Quarter 2 (June) 2016 when Civil Service employment was 415,730 (384,250 on a full-time equivalent basis).
The difference between the ACSES and Quarter 1 (March) PSE figures, which use the same reference date, is less than 0.1% headcount and less than 0.1% for full-time equivalents.
Table 11 provides a full breakdown of the differences between the two sources by department.Back to table of contents
ONS will shortly be reviewing the Civil Service statistics, and as part of this has set up a short questionnaire on Survey Monkey. Your views would be appreciated.Back to table of contents
The Civil Service statistics Quality and Methodology Information document contains important information on:
the strengths and limitations of the data and how it compares with related data
users and uses of the data
how the output was created
the quality of the output including the accuracy of the data
Civil Service Statistics are sourced from the Annual Civil Service Employment Survey (ACSES). This, following a development programme in 2007, replaced the Mandate Collection and departmental returns. For general issues regarding the interpreting of data, please see Background Note 2, ‘Common pitfalls in interpreting the series’.Back to table of contents
Contact details for this Statistical bulletin
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