In the third quarter of 1997 from 1 July to 1 October, the number of
permanent civil servants fell by 1,600 from 472,000 to 471,000 (0.3
per cent). The 1 October 1997 total of 471,000 staff represents a
The number of casual staff fell in the same quarter by 1,700 to
18,100, a nine per cent decrease. Taking both permanent and casual
staff into account the total number has fallen by 0.7 per cent from
492,000 on 1 July 1997 to 489,000 on 1 October 1997. This decrease
reflects a combination of seasonal changes and the replacement of
casual by permanent or fixed term contract staff.
Since the 1976 peak the number of permanent staff has fallen
from 751,000 to 471,000, a decrease of 37 per cent. Casual staff
numbers have increased by 64 per cent over the same period, from
11,100 to 18,100.
The largest reductions in numbers of permanent staff in the
three months to 1 October 1997 occurred in the Benefits Agency (860
down), the Ministry of Defence (480 down) and the Inland Revenue (410
The largest increases in numbers of permanent staff in the
three months to 1 October were in the Prison Service (340 up), in
response to the increasing prison population and HM Customs and
Excise (340 up), as part of the Spend to Save initiative.
The total number of permanent staff working in Executive
Agencies and on Next Steps lines on 1 October was 362,000, 77 per
cent of all permanent staff.
1. The staffing figures give full weight to the hours worked by
part-time staff in calculating full-time equivalents. On average, a
part-time employee works for 3.2 days a week.
2. Civil service staff numbers are prepared by OPS four times a year,
corresponding to the start of each calendar quarter.