Many government bodies should be further streamlined to improve efficiency, according to a new survey.
The poll by the Beijing-based polling agency Horizon Group indicated that 67 per cent of people questioned believed some departments remained overstaffed despite previous cutbacks.
But many people quizzed in the survey said some departments needed more staff.
Bureaus in charge of general affairs, reform and development, financial services and tourism should be streamlined, according to the majority of respondents.
But public security, education, and communication agencies needed more members of staff, they claimed.
The results were obtained from 4,128 residents nationwide, aged between 18 and 60.
It forms part of the polling agency's report on the Chinese's evaluation of the government and its performance.
However, officials from central government do not support the findings.
"Maybe some local governmental agencies are overstaffed, but not at the central governmental level," said an official with the Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), the country's product quality watchdog.
Following a programme of redundancies in 1998 when Zhu Rongji was premier, most areas of central government departments are staffed with about five civil servants, while some only have two or three.
"They actually have to work overtime to finish their assigned jobs," said the official, who refused to be named. During the past two years, four AQSIQ officials have died of heart-related diseases caused by their work levels.
However, experts said governments should pay attention to the survey.
Statistics show that the average ratio of taxpayers to civil servants is 26:1, while the ratio can be 20:1 in some western provinces.
"The ratio is lower than the world's average, but the number of civil servants in China is too large compared with the country's economic output," said Wang Jian, professor with the National School of Administration.