16 August 2016

Updated NL Public Service Numbers, 2003-2016 #nlpoli

A couple of access to information requests  - pdf 1  and pdf 2 - gave the world some new numbers on the growth in the core provincial public service from 2003 onward.

Here are the grand totals in a nice chart.  Each year is the total as of 31 December for that year.  The 2016 number is the figure on July 4.  The figures give changes in each department, excluding health care employees, the school boards and Crown agencies, boards, and corporations.  We'll look at the departmental figures in another post.  The Telegram's James McLeod apparently made the request wrote about someone else's access to information request,  just as your humble e-scribbler is doing, but it looks like he drew some erroneous conclusions in tracking the growth of specific parts of the public service.

The Big Picture numbers are useful, though.
There were 6851 public servants at the end of 2003.  That dropped to 6715 the following year and in 2006, the Conservatives started to hire.

They peaked in 2011 with 8952 public servants.  That's 33% larger from seven years earlier, in 2004.

Since then the public service has declined by slightly less than 1,000 positions, which is about a 10% reduction.

Sharp-eyed readers will note the differences in the figures supplied in a different access to information request in June.

The differences are small but they illustrate the difficulties you can run into some times.