The Civil Service grew by the equivalent of more than 4,000 full-time jobs in the first three months of the year, new figures suggest.
There were 479,040 FTE (full-time equivalent) Civil Service employees in Great Britain as of March 2022, up from 474,900 in December 2021, according to estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
It is the highest number of FTE roles since June 2010.
The Government announced last month that it intends to reduce the size of the Civil Service by around 90,000, in order to return it to levels last seen in 2016.
But the rise in FTE employees in the first quarter of this year means it could take cuts of around 95,000 to get back to the modern-day low of 384,000 reached in June 2016.
The latest increase is largely because of the ongoing response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the ONS said.
Since mid-2016 the total number of FTE roles in the Civil Service has increased by 25%, with much of the initial growth due to the requirements of Brexit.
However, the current total of just over 479,000 is still below the peak of 534,000 reached in September 2004.
There were an estimated 4.85 million FTE employees working in the UK public sector as of March this year, the ONS added.
This is up 7% compared with June 2016 and is the highest number since September 2013.
Total headcount for the public sector was estimated at 5.74 million in March, up 5% from mid-2016 and also the highest since September 2013.