Population of the Federal Public Service by Tenure

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About the data

When reading the table below, the following information applies:

  • Source of Information: Pay System as of of each year.
  • The federal public service consists of 2 population segments: the core public administration and separate agencies.
  • Departments and agencies in the core public administration are named in schedules I and IV of the Financial Administration Act. The Treasury Board is the employer of this segment of the federal public service.
  • Separate agencies are named in Schedule V of the act. Separate agencies conduct their own negotiations or set their own classification levels for their employees.
  • Included in this information are:
    • active employees of all employment tenures (indeterminate, term, casual and student)
    • Governor in Council appointees
    • deputy ministers
    • federal judges
  • Excluded from this information are:
    • inactive employees (employees on leave without pay)
    • ministers’ exempt staff
    • employees locally engaged outside of Canada
    • RCMP Regular Force members
    • RCMP Civilian members
    • Canadian Forces members
  • Population counts for the following separate agencies are not included because their employee information is not available in the Pay System:
    • Canadian Security Intelligence Service
    • National Capital Commission
    • Canada Investment and Savings
    • Canadian Forces Non-Public Funds
    • Security Intelligence Review Committee (before 2010)
Population of the federal public service by tenure
Tenure Year
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Core public administration
Casual 7,267 7,679 6,716 6,663 7,963 8,601 9,123 7,413 8,277 8,880 8,440
Indeterminate 190,734 192,061 190,546 180,530 173,101 170,592 169,651 172,877 178,189 187,498 196,300
Student 4,943 4,852 4,602 3,727 4,185 4,471 4,763 4,857 5,771 6,278 6,643
Term 13,652 12,632 10,164 9,596 10,081 11,901 13,817 14,510 16,039 17,615 19,753
Unknown - - - - - - - 34 36 44 40
Separate agencies
Casual 25 27 27 29 39 62 128 92 120 104 133
Indeterminate 53,092 53,096 52,598 49,753 49,620 49,076 48,893 49,597 50,531 52,147 53,673
Student 1,185 1,039 816 878 1,004 1,029 949 1,424 1,655 1,878 2,209
Term 12,082 10,966 12,623 11,641 11,145 11,302 11,655 11,879 12,930 13,530 13,257
Unknown - - - - - - - 13 23 9 2
Total 282,980 282,352 278,092 262,817 257,138 257,034 258,979 262,696 273,571 287,983 300,450

Indeterminate employees are those appointed to the Public Service whose tenure in the position is of an indefinite duration.

Term employees are those appointed for a specified period in accordance with Section 58 of the Public Service Employment Act.

Casual employees are those employed on a casual basis pursuant to section 50 of the Public Service Employment Act.

Students are those persons hired under one of the federal government’s student employment programs.

Unknown employees are those persons whose tenure is unknown or unspecified.

Open datasets

This information is published in HTML, XML and CSV formats and is part of the government’s Open Data Portal. The portal offers machine-readable formats, enabling citizens, private sector and non-government organizations to leverage this data in innovative and value-added ways.

For more information, review the Open Data Licence Agreement, visit the Open Data Portal or browse more datasets.

Available formats

Data file Description
Population of the federal public service by tenure
(XML version – 20 KB)
(CSV version – 3 KB)
These data present population counts by tenure for the federal public service (all departments and agencies governed by the Financial Administration Act (FAA) Schedules I, IV and V) from to .

Glossary of key terms

To assist you with your analysis of Federal Public Service human resources data, we have compiled a glossary of key terms that are used in many of the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer’s (OCHRO) demographic snapshots and reports. This glossary has been developed to help provide a common language across OCHRO’s demographic snapshots and reports.

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