Compared to other European Union countries, the Czechia ranks worse than the number of employees in the private and public sectors. A higher percentage of workers work in state and local authorities and entities in the Nordic EU countries or in France, while the lowest are in Germany, the Netherlands or Italy. This follows from Eurostat data.
“Clearly, clearly and authoritatively, we calculated how many employees the Czech government sector actually has, which we commonly call the public sector, or popularly known,” said Mojmír Hampl, who is to become the new head of the National Budget Council (NRR).
The data shows not only how many people are paid with taxpayers’ money. The figures also show how the number of these workers has been growing in recent years and is increasingly straining public finances. Experts repeatedly point this out.
“The situation in education is striking. International comparisons show that the level of Czech pupils and students is deteriorating, although more and more teachers and non-teachers are working on them, “said BH Securities chief economist and adviser to Prime Minister Štěpán Křeček. He pointed out that state services do not improve with the admission of other people. “We need reforms, not new employees,” he said.
For example, primary schools are now attended by over 950,000 pupils, taught by almost 90,000 teachers. Even at the turn of the 1990s and 1990s, about 1.25 million children attended primary schools, whose education was cared for by over 60,000 teachers. Thus, there were a third more pupils and a third fewer teachers. At the same time, the level of knowledge has fallen since then.
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Among other things, the number of police officers gradually increased, to around 40,000. In this respect, the Czechia is one of the European record holders. One Czech law enforcement officer protects around 250 citizens, fewer are cared for only by his Cypriot and Maltese colleagues. In contrast, in Austria and the Netherlands, there are one police officer per 320 inhabitants.
In addition to staff in education and some armed forces, according to the NRR study, the number of employees in local contributory organizations such as museums, galleries, libraries, theaters, observatories, cultural centers, sports grounds, philharmonic, social care facilities or technical services has increased significantly. The government sector also strengthened in the case of regional, district and university hospitals. The growth of post offices was also recorded by ministries and other central bodies.
On the contrary, the largest decline was in municipal and regional authorities, especially between 2019 and 2020, which is probably related to the coronavirus pandemic. Furthermore, the Railway Administration or the Czech Export Bank slimmed down. The number of positions in state funds and health insurance companies remained more or less the same.
Mojmír Hampl thinks that the study can be used by Petr Fiala’s cabinet in its efforts to consolidate public finances. “The reduction on the expenditure side of the state budget should be preceded by a review of individual agendas and services performed by the government sector, as well as the quality and quantity in which these services are to be provided so as to be sustainably financed in the long term,” Hampl added. however, none of the previous governments has yet agreed on the analysis.
A comparison with Europe shows that the Czech public administration would need to lose excess kilos. Of the EU countries, around 15 percent of all employees in the public sector work in Portugal, Romania, Spain or Ireland. The premium is Germany, where this share is just over ten percent. At the other end of the table is Sweden, whose authorities employ 30 percent of all economically active people in the country.