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At today’s sitting, the Riigikogu discussed the overview of the civil service report of 2019 by Jaak Aab, Minister of Public Administration.

The report focuses in particular on civil service, that is, civil servants of state and local government authorities, but it also gives an overview of the whole public sector and government sector. The personnel statistics covers, among other things, the number of employees, the labour costs, and the indicators of recruitment, assessment and turnorver as well as composition of staff. In addition, it gives an overview of the training and development activities, ethics and the legal framework of the Civil Service Act.

Last year, state and local government authorities employed 27,628 civil servants, which accounted for 4.2 per cent of the total employment in Estonia. „In agencies, reorganisation of the work of various sectors was continued, in order to provide a better public service both digitally and in direct communication,” Jaak Aab said.

Last year, 132,333 people worked in the public sector, which is 0.08 per cent up from a year earlier. Starting from 2008, the number of public sector employees has decreased by 13,333 people, that is, by nine per cent. 27,628 civil servants worked in civil service, that is, state and local government authorities, which is 0.2 per cent up in a year. In seven years, the number of civil servants has decreased by 2322 persons, that is, by 7.8 per cent. 22,059 civil servants worked in state authorities and 5569 in local government authorities. More than a third of civil servants were special servants, including police and prison officials, rescue service workers, etc.

The average age of civil servants remained at 43.5 years, but the average age is on the rise. There are slightly more women than men, while there are more younger men in special services.

The proportion of people with higher education is significantly larger in the civil service than in Estonia as a whole. The proportion of people with higher education was 42 per cent of all the employed in Estonia; at the same time, 61 per cent of civil servants have higher education.

The average gross monthly salary of state officials was 1877 euro last year, which is 8.6 per cent up in a year. The average gross monthly salary of local government officials was 1692 euro, which is 5.3 per cent up in a year. The average gross monthly salary in the government sector was 1494 euro, which is 9.9 per cent up in a year. The average gross monthly wage increased 7.4 per cent, rising to 1407 euro.

Aab explained the future perspectives. “With our team in the area of government of the Minister of Public Administration, we are looking for new opportunities to optimise governance and activities, on the one hand, and to use the taxpayers’ money most effectively for the functioning of the state. However, at the same time, we must not back down on quality and the quality of services, but we need to improve them even more,” Aab said. He continues to attach importance to the development of e-governance and wider use of information technology solutions in the provision of public services. Undoubtedly, we will also need to take into account the needs of developing e-governance when preparing for the new European Union 2021+ financial period. “The state needs to be smarter and more modern, and it is possible to automate many services. Then the need to communicate with state authorities for bureaucratic operations would be reduced for citizens, undertakings as well as local governments,” Aab said. “Civil service must however be able to keep abreast of global technology trends and to get used to the ever-increasing flexibility in the ways of working. Teleworking has come to stay. The corona crisis also showed this.”

Aab said that we also needed to continue moving state-salaried jobs out of the capital. “We need to value and appreciate the people who serve our country. We need to recruit the best experts in their fields to civil service and to remunerate and train them properly. The state and local governments need to develop and become more up to date as employers,” the minister noted.

During the debate, Kersti Sarapuu (Centre Party) and Heiki Hepner (Isamaa) took the floor.

The Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik replied to the interpellation concerning the situation of children with chronic diseases (No 39), submitted by members of the Riigikogu Helmen Kütt, Jaak Juske, Heljo Pikhof, Jevgeni Ossinovski, Riina Sikkut, Indrek Saar and Ivari Padar on 18 June. 

During the open microphone, Urmas Reitelmann took the floor. 

Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian):

Video recordings of the sittings of the Riigikogu can be viewed at

(Please note that the recording will be uploaded with a delay.)

Riigikogu Press Service
Gunnar Paal,
+372 631 6351, +372 5190 2837