Économie et Statistique n° 369-370 Public Employment - Careers Professional - Mobility
From 1980 to 2001, public sector employment rose virtually twice as fast as total employment (23% versus 13%). This sharp growth occurred mainly in the local and regional authorities (+38%) and, to a lesser extent, in the state hospital sector (+28%), whereas State civil service employment rose at a similar rate to the labour force (+15%). Over this period, untenured employment fell in the local and regional authorities, the civil service sector out of the three with the most staff in this category (one in five as at the end of 2001). Yet it rose in the hospitals, offsetting the growth in part-time tenured staff. The State civil service remains by far the largest public sector employer with over half of all the public sector jobs, 90% of which are in the ministries with the rest in national public administrative establishments. State education employs half of the State civil servants and accounts for two-thirds of the growth in State staff numbers. However, the transfers of responsibilities from the ministries to the local and regional authorities have reduced staff levels in some ministries (foreign affairs and infrastructure). The relatively moderate growth in State civil service employment went hand in hand with an increase in the proportion of senior positions, increasingly frequently held by women. This upturn in the number of women partially explains the rise in part-time work. It is also associated with staff ageing, more marked here than in the private sector and the other two civil service sectors, and the ensuing development of semi-retirement schemes.