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On 26 November 2014, during discussions about the 2015 budget at the Parliament of Georgia, Zurab Melikishvili noted that according to the draft budget, the number of employees in the public sector will increase because the government does not do anything to attract investments.

FactCheck

took interest in Mr Melikishvili’s statement and verified its accuracy.

The 2012 draft budget envisaged the employment of 101,017 people in the public sector; however, only 102,976 people were actually employed in 2012. In 2013, 102,976 people were employed whilst in 2014 this number was 111,337. According to this year’s draft budget, the number of employees in the public sector should reach 116,442 people.

Graph 1:

Employment in the Public Sector

image001

Source: State Budget of Georgia 2015

It is noteworthy that the increase in the number of employees in public offices is mainly due to the increase in the employees at the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia (see Table 1). The increase in the number of the employees at the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia is owing to the transferring of various subordinate theatres, museums, ensembles and other cultural institutions to the budget line of the Ministry. As for the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 28,553 people were employed there in 2012 whilst the 2015 draft budget envisages employing 33,758 people. The increase in the number of employees at the Ministry of Internal Affairs is owing to the transferring of the Fire-Rescue Service to the Ministry. Therefore, those employed in the aforementioned Service (4,936 people) affected the number of employees at the Ministry of Internal Affairs but this does not mean that new jobs have been created.

Table 1: 

Institutions with Significant Numbers of Employee Increase

Institution

2012

2013

Increase (people)

Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection

418

7,048

6,603

Ministry of Internal Affairs

28,533

33,758

5,225

Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection

841

2,048

1,207

Ministry of Agriculture

603

1,259

656

Ministry of Finance

4,475

4,785

310

Government Administration

215

352

137

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

596

716

120

Source: State Budget of Georgia 2015

By examining the gross employment rate of both the public and private sectors it becomes evident that there has been a decrease in the unemployment rate since 2009. In 2009, 16.9% of the whole population was unemployed. In 2010 this number was 16.3%, in 2011 it was 15.1%, in 2012 it was 15% and in 2013 it was 14.6%. However, it should be noted that the number of the employed shrank in 2013. In 2012, 1,724 thousand people were employed whilst in 2013 this amounted to 1,712 thousand people.

The total data concerning employment and unemployment for the year 2014 are not yet known. The number of employed in the business sector in the third quarter of 2014 (the fourth quarter data are still unknown) is 520 thousand. To compare, 507 thousand people were employed in the third quarter of 2013 in the business sector. Employment in the business sector grew by 2.5% in the third quarter of 2014.

Conclusion

After verifying the factual data, we can conclude that the number of employed in the public sector has indeed increased. In 2012, there were 102,976 employees in the public sector whilst according to the 2015 draft budget, the number of employees will be 116,442 which means that the number of employed in the public sector has increased by 13,466 in three years. Nevertheless, it should be noted that this increase is mainly due to the transfer of various subordinate institutions to the budget line of the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia and the transferring of the Fire-Rescue Service to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia. In total, the given changes account for 11,500 people in the gross number of increased employees.

In 2013, the number of employees in the country decreased by 12 thousand people. At the moment, there are no gross data for 2014. Currently, only the number of employed in the business sector in the third quarter of the last year is known and which is 2.5% more than the same period in 2013.

FactCheck concludes that Mr Melikishvili’s statement is HALF TRUE.

Editor’s note: The initial version of this article was published on 8 January 2015. After publishing the article, it turned out that the data presented in the article concerning the increase in the number of employees in the public sector were incomplete. As it has appeared, the increase in the number of employees in the public sector in 2014 was mainly due to the transferring of various subordinate institutions to the budget line of the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia and the transferring of the Fire-Rescue Service to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia. Considering these factors, it is clear that the statement of the MP regarding the increase in the number of employees in the public sector is not fully accurate. After discovering the given circumstance, FactCheck corrected the article. Respectively, the verdict was changed from MOSTLY TRUE to HALF TRUE.

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