1.72 million persons worked in the state sectors at the end of 2008, 10.4% fewer than 2005.

Norway and Russia have the highest public workforce, with 182 and 153 respectively.

“Romania has more people working for the state per 1,000 inhabitants than countries such as Italy and Spain mainly because it still has many inefficient state owned companies in transport, utilities or manufacturing. But if we look at these countries, we see that they have more employees per 1,000 inhabitants than Romania in Public Administration, Defense and Compulsory Social Security”, said Michael Weiss, Vice President of A.T. Kearney.

The highest number in public sector workers is in Public Administration and Defense, Compulsory Social Security – 22.1 per 1,000 inhabitants, Education – 17.3 and Health and Social Work – 14.6. On the other hand, the lowest number of public sector workers is in financial intermediation – 0.89.

By contrast, Spain has 21.56 employees in Public Administration and Defense, Compulsory Social Security.

“In the Romanian public sector not the number of employees is the problem, but the overall quality and the output. A pure headcount reduction will not lead towards a self healing mechanism in the organization; it will not change the system because the headcount is not the key problem”, said Michael Weiss, Vice President of A.T. Kearney.

Gheorghe Pogea, minister of Finance said recently the public workforce would be cut from 1.4 million persons to 1.06 million until 2015.

The survey notes that a bigger problem than the number of public sector workers is the active population in the local public labor market.

“Even though in terms of public workforce size Romania is in line with other European countries, the benchmark doesn’t explain exhaustively the problem of the sector as it doesn’t compare the headcount by output quality. It is not possible to compare a public sector employee from Romania, who is de facto working half time and gets the rest of the income from out of pocket payments from his clients, as it is the case in health care for example, with a public servant who is working full time as a top professional in the public administration of a mature EU market”, survey found.