Civil servants (Beamten ) have a long tradition in Germany. Their number more than doubled between 1950 and 1989, from 790,000 to 1.8 million in West Germany, where they accounted for 6.6 percent of the workforce. Because teachers and professors are civil servants in Germany, much of this increase came from the expansion of education in the postwar era. Only about one-third of those working for the state are regarded as civil servants. The remainder are either hourly or salaried employees without the special status and rights of civil servants. In 1989 civil servants and government employees accounted for 16.6 percent of the workforce.
Civil servants have complete job security, generous pensions, and higher net incomes than salaried employees. In return for these advantages, civil servants are to serve the state loyally and carry out their duties in a nonpartisan way. This does not, however, prevent civil servants from being active in politics and even being elected to public office.
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