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The number of central government employees grew by about one thousand in 2021

Ministry of Finance
Publication date 4.5.2022 13.06
News item

The central government employed approximately 78,000 people in 2021. Most central government employees work in expert positions. About 40 per cent work in the security sector, i.e. in the Finnish Defence Forces, border control positions or the police.

The strongest growth in personnel was in social, employment and health services as well as in business services, which accounted for about half of the overall growth in central government personnel.

After the security sector, the largest services are services for business activities, such as the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment and the National Land Survey of Finland, as well as national financial administration and insurance and financing services, such as the Finnish Tax Administration and Finnish Customs. These services employ about 20 per cent of central government employees. 

Of central government employees, 36 per cent have a master's degree or doctoral degree and 36 per cent have a bachelor's degree or lowest tertiary degree. Over the past ten years, the number of employees with a master's degree has grown nearly seven percentage points. Of personnel, 91 per cent are in public-service employment relationships and 9 per cent are in contractual employment relationships.

Labour costs decreasing

Labour costs comprised approximately 7.4 per cent of all central government expenditure and equated to 1.9 per cent of gross domestic product. The share of central government expenditure represented by labour costs is in a slight decline. The decrease was 0.6 percentage points compared to the previous year. Central government employees represent about 3.6 per cent of all wage and salary earners. When looking at the public sector alone, central government employees represent about 12.5 per cent. The public sector employs approximately 622,000 people.

Approximately 20,000 central government employees will retire by 2030. Retirement due to age has remained steady annually throughout the current decade.

Juho-Pekka Jortama, Analyst, tel. +358 295 530 119, juho-pekka.jortama(at)

Government as Employer