About the NSW public sector

The NSW public sector delivers a wide range of services and regulatory functions to the community, such as education, health services, roads, public transport, law enforcement and environmental protection.

Share of the NSW economy

In 2013–14, the NSW Government sector had a net worth of $180.8 billion.2 With the inclusion of infrastructure and public corporations, the NSW total state sector made up about 12% of the NSW economy in 2012–13.3 Employee‑related costs were the single largest expense, accounting for 48% of general government expenditure in 2013–14.4

This table shows the number of employees by FTE and the percentage of total across the public sector. In the public service, Departments have 38,263 employees, 11.7% of total; Public Service Executive Agencies have 22,287 employees, 6.8% of total; Separate Public Service Agencies have 3,219 employees, 1.0% of total. The total public service has 63,769 employees, 19.4% of total. The Teaching Service has 62,859 employees, 19.2% of total, Health Services have 105,763 employees, 32.2% of total, Police Force has 19,529 employees, 6.0% of total, Transport Services has 26,057 employees, 7.9% of total, Other Crown Services have 30,025 employees, 9.2% of total, State Owned Corporations have 19,267 employees, 5.9% of total. The total number of employees in the Government Sector is 327,268, 99.7% of total. The number of employees external to the Government Sector is 845, 0.3% of total. The total number of employees in the public sector is 328,113. Note: FTE has been rounded to the nearest whole number. As a result the total public sector may not equal the sum of the components. FTE describes the number of full-time employees required to account for all ordinary-time paid hours of work. For example, two employees working half weeks would be counted as one FTE employee.

* FTE has been rounded to the nearest whole number. As a result the total public sector may not equal the sum of the components.

FTE describes the number of full-time employees required to account for all ordinary-time paid hours of work. For example, two employees working half weeks would be counted as one FTE employee.

The workforce

The majority of employees work in essential services, primarily health and education

Most employees work in professional occupations requiring tertiary qualifications

The NSW public sector has many departments and other bodies. 

Click here to see an interactive graphic showing a breakdown of the types of organisations that constitute the government sector.

Click here to see a list of agencies and other bodies that make up the nine clusters of the Public Service.


2. NSW Government Budget Statement 2014–2015: Budget paper No.2, Chapter 4

3. Australian Bureau of Statistics – Australian National Accounts: State Accounts 2012–2013 – Table 2: Expenditure, income and industry components of gross state product, New South Wales, Chain volume measures and Current prices

4. NSW Government Budget Statement 2014–2015: Budget paper No.2, Chapter 5