Eighteenth Annual Report to the Prime Minister on the Public Service of Canada

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Annex A: By the Numbers?A Demographic Profile of the Federal Public Service for 2010

This annex presents select demographics for the federal Public Service (PS)1, with some focus on the executive (EX) cadre.

Number of Employees
PS: 283,000
EX minus 1: 12,078
Deputy Ministers (DM): 45
EX: 6,784 (2.4%)
EX minus 2: 18,108
Associate DM: 32
  • Government priorities drive the PS population. Recent increases are primarily associated with internal and external security (four of the five largest departments) and health.
  • The PS currently comprises 0.83% of the Canadian population, below the ratios from the 1980s and early 1990s, which were very close to 1%.
Average Age
PS: 43.9 years
EX-01 to EX-03: 49.9 years
EX minus 1: 48.4 years
DM: 53.9 years
EX: 50.1 years
EX-04 to EX-05: 53.5 years
EX minus 2: 45.7 years
Associate DM: 54.4 years
  • Since 2005, the average age of public servants has begun to slowly decrease (from 44.3 in 2005 to 43.9 in 2010). The decrease is expected to continue in years to come.
  • Beginning in 2005, the percentage of EXs over 50 has decreased from 58.9% to 53.3%.
  • The average ages of deputy ministers and EXs (at both lower levels and senior levels) have been stable since 2003.
Years of Experience
PS: 0-4 years: 23.1%
PS: 5-14 years: 36.7%
PS: 15-24 years: 21.7%
PS: 25+: 18.6%
  • After increasing gradually from 1983 to 2007, the proportion of public servants with over 25 years of experience has begun to slowly decrease.  Since 2007, the proportion of public servants with 15-24 years of experience has also declined, while the proportions with 5-14 and 0-4 years of experience have increased.
Mobility in the CPA (2009-10)
New Indeterminate Employees: 16,304
Retirements/Departures: 9,330
Promotions: 22,965 Transfers: 21,010
  • In the preceding five years, the workforce has become more mobile: recruitment inflows into indeterminate positions have grown (mostly from the general public); internal movements (promotions and transfers) have risen (from 13.9% to 19.1%); and total departures have doubled, led by retirements (72%).
  • Most internal mobility is within the same department, while less than 5% is between departments.
  • In terms of retention, the departure rate of new indeterminate employees has remained low (1-3%) over the past decade.
Employee Types
Indeterminate: 86.2% Term: 9.1%
Casuals and Students: 4.8%
  • Recently, shorter-term hiring (term, casual, students, temporary help) increased as the PS responded to the demands of the economic recession, delivering on the Economic Action Plan and providing additional services to Canadians in such areas as Employment Insurance.
  • Since 1983, the proportion of indeterminate employees has been fairly constant.
First Official Language
PS: French: 29.0%
EX: French: 30.0%
English 71.0%
English: 70.0%
  • The representation of official languages in the Public Service has been relatively stable for over 25 years.
Representation vs. Workforce Availability (WFA)
in the Core Public Administration for 2009-102
Visible Minorities
PS: 11.6% vs. WFA: 13.0% EX: 7.3% vs. WFA: 7.7%
PS New Hires: 21.2% vs. WFA: 12.4%

Persons with Disabilities
PS: 5.6% vs. WFA: 4.0% EX: 5.7% vs. WFA: 4.0%
PS New Hires: 3.1% vs. WFA: 4.0%

Aboriginal Peoples
PS: 4.2% vs. WFA: 3.8% EX: 3.7% vs. WFA: 4.3%
PS New Hires: 4.6% vs. WFA: 3.0%

PS: 55.1% vs. WFA: 52.8% EX: 44.1% vs. WFA: 45.5%
PS New Hires: 55.5% vs. WFA: 52.3%

  • While the representation of all four designated Employment Equity groups has increased overall and within the EX ranks over the past several years, workforce availability is not yet being met for all of the designated groups.
  • The proportion of women EXs has risen significantly since 1983, with the number almost tripling since 1998.
Supplementary demographic information is available on the website of the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer:

  1. The “Public Service” refers to the core public administration (CPA)— departments and agencies for which the Treasury Board is the employer—and separate employers (principally the Canada Revenue Agency, Parks Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the National Research Council Canada). Data is primarily provided by the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer and is current as of March 31, 2010, unless otherwise indicated. Benchmark years provided for comparisons usually identify the beginning of a trend, indicate the post-Program Review period, or mark the first year for reliable data (such as the year 1983, used in previous Annual Reports).
  2. Workforce availability (WFA) for an Employment Equity designated group is the percentage of these citizens working in occupations in the Canadian workforce that correspond to occupations in the PS, with the data being derived from 2006 Census statistics. Data for new PS hires comes from the Public Service Commission. The employee population here is based on those organizations under the Public Service Employment Act.

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