Chapter One NSW Public Sector at a glance

Our size and shape

  • Number of full-time equivalent employees (FTE) in the NSW public sector

    2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
    312,201 316,400 319,059 322,452 330,400 332,555 329,336 328,111 326,765 326,706 325,900

    Source: 2017 NSW Workforce Profile

  • Trends in NSW Public Sector employment

    Public sector FTE employees in 2014-17

    The number of employees across the public sector can be examined by service or by cluster. Examined by the services listed in the Government Sector Employment Act 2013 (NSW), the government sector has grown 2.9% since 2014. The overall decline in the public sector FTE since 2014, as shown in the graph above, results from a number of State-owned corporations exiting the public sector, among others.

    Public Service NSW Health Service NSW Police Force Teaching Service Transport Service Other Crown Services State-Owned Corporations External to Government Sector
    -2.8% 8.2% 1.2% 5.6% 0.5% -3.9% -60% 37.8%

    Source: 2017 NSW Workforce Profile, 2017 census period
    Note: Examples of Public Service agencies are policy and regulatory agencies, and the Department of Family and Community Services. Examples of other Crown services are Sydney Trains, NSW Trains and TAFE.

    Changes in total NSW public sector headcount compared with total NSW employment, 2010-17

    NSW public sector NSW overall
    2010 0.8% 1.1%
    2011 2.2% 1.4%
    2012 1.8% 1.3%
    2013 -0.6% 2.1%
    2014 -0.8% 0.2%
    2015 -0.5% 2.4%
    2016 -0.2% 3.2%
    2017 0.0% 1.1%

    Source: NSW Workforce Profile figures from 2010 to 2017 using total sector headcount; Australian Bureau of Statistics, 6291.0.55.001 – Labour Force, Australia, Detailed – Electronic Delivery, July 2017 – Table 16, released 24 August 2017.

  • Number of full-time equivalent employees by cluster

    The NSW Government Sector is structured into 10 clusters to coordinate related services. Each cluster includes the Public Service and other government entities. Entities labelled ‘external to the Government Sector’ are Parliament NSW, the Judicial Commission, the Independent Commission Against Corruption and the Audit Office of NSW.

    Source: 2017 NSW Workforce Profile Note: These numbers have been adjusted to reflect current machinery of government cluster arrangements.

    • 115,325

      Health

    • 91,070

      Education

    • 40,360

      Justice

    • 25,526

      Transport

    • 16,495

      Industry

    • 13,441

      Planning & Environment

    • 13,090

      Family & Community Services

    • 7,075

      Finance Services & Innovation

    • 1,198

      Premier & Cabinet

    • 1,164

      External to Government sector

    • 1,156

      Treasury

    • 35.4%

      Health

    • 27.9%

      Education

    • 12.4%

      Justice

    • 7.8%

      Transport

    • 5.1%

      Industry

    • 4.1%

      Planning & Environment

    • 4.0%

      Family & Community Services

    • 2.2%

      Finance Services & Innovation

    • 0.4%

      Premier & Cabinet

    • 0.4%

      External to Government sector

    • 0.4%

      Treasury

  • Number of employees in key occupations

    While services have changed shape, frontline roles have continued to grow in key areas.

    • School Teachers

      65,707
    • Nurses

      46,907
    • Police Officers

      16,074
    • Medical Practitioners

      11,469
    • Firefighters

      4,144
    • Ambulance Officers

      3,825
      • School Support Staff

        21,248
      • Clerical and Administrative Workers

        29,513
      • Cleaners and Laundry Workers

        4,888
      • Labourers

        4,410
      • Food Preparation Assistants

        1,951
      • Train Drivers

        1,849
      • Residential Care Officers

        3,034
      • Prison Officers

        3,825
      • Bus Drivers

        3,663
      • All Other Staff

        103,393

    See previous years

    Source: 2017 NSW Workforce Profile. Census period full-time equivalent numbers used. Note: that the 2016 census period FTE for Ambulance Officers has been updated from last year’s State of the Public Sector Report to 3,673.

    Most employees working in professional occupations have tertiary qualifications

    NSW public sector (June 2017) All NSW employed persons (May 2017)
    Professionals 50.4% 25.4%
    Community and personal service workers 18.2% 9.2%
    Clerical and administrative workers 15.2% 13.9%
    Managers 5.0% 13.4%
    Labourers 4.3% 10.1%
    Technicians and trades workers 3.7% 12.6%
    Machinery operators and drivers 3.1% 6.3%

    Source: 2017 NSW Workforce Profile
    Note: Most occupations in the professionals group have a level of skill commensurate with a bachelor degree or higher qualification. At least five years of relevant experience may substitute for the formal qualification (ANZSCO Skill Level 1), or an Australian Qualifications Framework associate degree, advanced diploma or diploma, or at least three years of relevant experience (ANZSCO Skill Level 2).

  • Jobs in the public sector are evolving, in line with the changing services, 2012-17, and 2017 FTE

    Largest increases, 2012—2017, and 2017 FTE

    • 33.8%

      Business administration managers

    • 30.8%

      Contract, program and project administrators

    • 26.7%

      Education, health & welfare services managers

    • 25.7%

      Education aides

    • 25.3%

      ICT managers

    Largest decreases, 2012—2017, and 2017 FTE

    • 67.2%

      Electronics and telecommunications trades workers

    • 64.2%

      Electricians

    • 56.7%

      Tertiary education teachers

    • 53.9%

      Building and engineering technicians

    • 40.7%

      Engineering professionals

    Largest increases, 2012—2017, and 2017 FTE

    • 3,410

      Business administration managers

    • 5,921

      Contract, program and project administrators

    • 5,208

      Education, health & welfare service managers

    • 9,577

      Education aides

    • 1,028

      ICT managers

    Largest decreases, 2012—2017, and 2017 FTE

    • 1,227

      Electronics and telecommunications trades workers

    • 965

      Electricians

    • 4,429

      Tertiary education teachers

    • 2,233

      Building and engineering technicians

    • 2,173

      Engineering professionals

    Source: 2017 NSW Workforce Profile
    Note: tertiary education teachers are as defined in About this report.

  • Changing shape of the government sector workforce, FTE by grade, 2014-17

      2014 2017 2014-2017
    General Scale 60,290 60,146 -0.2%
    Grade 1/2 27,310 29,791 9.1%
    Grade 3/4 45,004 42,581 -5.4%
    Grade 5/6 45,445 49,497 8.9%
    Grade 7/8 49,814 50,437 1.3%
    Grade 9/10 33,895 36,300 7.1%
    Grade 11/12 15,562 17,368 11.6%
    Above 11/12 (non-executive) 4,292 4,154 -3.2%
    Senior Executives 5,711 6,548 14.7%

    Source: 2014-2017 NSW Workforce Profile, full-time equivalent.
    Note: Remuneration bands are aligned with the Crown Employees (Administrative and Clerical Officers – Salaries) Award 2007.

    Post GSE reform, senior executives in the Public Service are a lower proportion of its total workforce than executives in the Government Sector as a whole in 2017

      2014 2015 2016 2017
    Totals 2,178 2,026 1,938 1,938

    Source: 2017 NSW Workforce Profile. Headcount at census date.

Who we are and where we are

  • Who we are

    • Median age in years

      2017
      NSW population NSW working population NSW public sector
      38 years 40 years 45 years

      Source: 2017 NSW Workforce Profile, Australian Bureau of Statistics 3235.0 — Population by Age /and Sex, Regions of Australia, 2016 — released 28 August 2017, Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006.0 -Census of Population and Housing: Working Population Profile, 2016, — released 20 November 2017

    • Representation of women

      2017
      Women as % of public sector workforce Women as % of general NSW population over 15 yr old  % of NSW Working population
      64.8% 50.4% 46.90%

      Source: 2017 NSW Workforce Profile, Australian Bureau of Statistics 6202.0 — Labour force, Australia, Table 4 — released 19 October 2017, Australian Bureau of Statistics 3101.0 — Australian Demographic Statistics, Mar 2017, Table 4 — released 27 September 2017

    • Representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

      2017
      NSW working population NSW population NSW public sector
      2.6% 2.9% 3.2%

      Source: 2017 NSW Workforce Profile, Australia Bureau of Statistics 2071.0 — Census of Population and Housing: Reflecting Australia — Stories from the Census, 2016 — released 28 June 2017, Australian Bureau of Statistics 4714.0 — National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, Australia, 2014—15, Table 20 — released 28 April 2016

    • Representation of people with English as a second language

      2017
      Public sector first language not english percentage NSW general population First language not english percentage NSW working population percentage
      18.4% 23.2% 16.3

      Source: 2017 NSW Workforce Profile, Australian Bureau of Statistic 2001.0 — Census of Population and Housing: General Community Profile, Australia, 2016 — released 27 June 2017, Australian Bureau of Statistics — Census of Population and Housing, 2011

    • Representation of people with a disability

      2017
      NSW public sector NSW working population NSW population
      2.7% 8.5% 18.1%

      Source: 2017 NSW Workforce Profile, Australian Bureau of Statistics — 4430.0 — Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia, 2015 Table 1.3 — released 18 October 2016

    • Representation of Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or as gender diverse people, 2017

      2017 4.0%

      NSW public sector

      Source: People Matter Employee Survey Note: NSW population data unavailable for comparison

  • Gender profile across the NSW public sector, 2014 - 2017

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders employees across non-executive pay grades

    Progress towards meeting the 1.8% representation target

    2014 2017
    $8,000 to $60,153 3.2% 4.0%
    $60,154 to $67,247 2.6% 2.9%
    $67,248 to $79,383 2.5% 3.0%
    $79,384 to $91,214 1.5% 1.7%
    $91,215 to $102,837 1.6% 2.0%
    $102,838 to $118,942 1.2% 1.6%
    $118,943 to $153,914 1.1% 1.5%
    $153,915 to $178,849 0.6% 0.8%
    $178,850 to $255,050 0.4% 0.4%
    $255,051 to $320,900 0.6% 0.7%
    $320,901 and above 0.3% 0.5%

    Source: 2017 NSW Workforce Profile

    Representation of NSW public sector employees with a disability

    2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
    4.2% 4.0% 3.9% 3.7% 3.6% 3.8% 3.5% 3.0% 2.9% 2.8% 2.7%

    Source: 2017 NSW Workforce Profile

  • Premier’s priority to drive public sector diversity

    Progress to double to 114 the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees in senior leadership roles in the Government Sector by 2025 (headcount)

    1. 57

      2014

    2. 55

      2015

    3. 63

      2016

    4. 71

      2017

    5. 114

      by 2025

    Progress to increase the proportion of women in senior leadership roles across the Government Sector to 50% by 2025

    1. 33%

      2014

    2. 34%

      2015

    3. 36%

      2016

    4. 37%

      2017

    5. 50%

      by 2025

    Source: 2017 NSW Workforce Profile

  • Women in senior leadership roles by cluster, 2014—17

    • 2014

    • 2017

    • Premier's Priority

    2014 2017
    Education 45.8% 53.0%
    Family and Community Services 58.1% 56.9%
    Finance, Services and Innovation 33.7% 39.7%
    Health 35.8% 39.9%
    Industry 43.1% 44.6%
    Justice 22.8% 23.8%
    Planning and Environment 32.1% 39.6%
    Premier amd Cabinet 48.9% 51.0%
    Transport 19.9% 26.6%
    Treasury 37.4% 45.7%

    Source: 2017 NSW Workforce Profile. Note: target applies to Government Sector only.

  • Where are we located?

    Where NSW Public Sector employees work

    While Sydney has the most public sector employees overall, when examined as a proporation total employment in the region, the public sector contributes far more to overall employment in the regions of Far West and Orana, and Coffs Harbour - Grafton at 18.8% and 14.5% respectively.

    Source: 2017 NSW Workforce Profile; Australian Bureau of Statistics, 6291.0.55.001 — Labour Force, Australia, Detailed — Electronic Delivery, August 2016, released 22 September 2016

    WorkRegion Public sector employees, headcount at census
    Sydney East 129,907
    Sydney West 95,974
    Central Coast 15,374
    Newcastle and Lake Macquarie 23,994
    Hunter Valley exc Newcastle 10,295
    Mid North Coast 10,811
    New England and North West 11,047
    Far West and Orana 10,303
    Coffs Harbour - Grafton 8,085
    Richmond - Tweed 12,067
    Illawarra 15,346
    Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven 5,796
    Capital Region 10,768
    Riverina 9,470
    Murray 5,829
    Central West 14,068
    WorkRegion Public Sector employees as proportion of NSW employed persons
    Public Sector propotion of all people employed in NSW 10.2%
    Sydney East 9.0%
    Sydney West 9.5%
    Central Coast 9.3%
    Newcastle and Lake Macquarie 13.0%
    Hunter Valley exc Newcastle 7.8%
    Mid North Coast 11.3%
    New England and North West 13.6%
    Far West and Orana 18.8%
    Coffs Harbour - Grafton 14.5%
    Richmond - Tweed 10.9%
    Illawarra 10.9%
    Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven 11.8%
    Capital Region 9.6%
    Riverina 12.1%
    Murray 11.9%
    Central West 13.5%
    Group Created with Sketch.

    Where NSW Public Sector employees work

    While Sydney has the most Public sector employees overall, when examined as a proporation total employment in the region, the public sector contributes far more to overall employment in the regions of Far West and Orana, and Coffs Harbour - Grafton at 18.8% and 14.5% respectively.

      • Sydney East

        129,907

      • Sydney West

        95,974

      • Central Coast

        15,374

      • Newcastle and Lake Macquarie

        23,994

      • Hunter Valley excluding Newcastle

        10,295

      • Mid North Coast

        10,811

      • New England and North West

        11,047

      • Far West and Orana

        10,303

      • Coffs Harbour — Grafton

        8,085

      • Richmond — Tweed

        12,067

      • Illawarra

        15,346

      • Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven

        5,796

      • Capital Region

        10,768

      • Riverina

        9,470

      • Murray

        5,829

      • Central West

        14,068

      • Sydney East

        9.0%

      • Sydney West

        9.5%

      • Central Coast

        9.3%

      • Newcastle and Lake Macquarie

        13.0%

      • Hunter Valley excluding Newcastle

        7.8%

      • Mid North Coast

        11.3%

      • New England and North West

        13.6%

      • Far West and Orana

        7.8%

      • Coffs Harbour — Grafton

        18.8%

      • Richmond — Tweed

        14.5%

      • Illawarra

        10.9%

      • Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven

        11.8%

      • Capital Region

        9.6%

      • Riverina

        12.1%

      • Murray

        11.9%

      • Central West

        13.5%

    Source: 2017 NSW Workforce Profile; Australian Bureau of Statistics, 6291.0.55.001 — Labour Force, Australia, Detailed — Electronic Delivery, August 2016, released 22 September 2016

  • NSW Public Sector commuting patterns

    People are more likely to work in the region in which they live than in another region. However, substantial numbers of NSW public sector employees commute to Sydney from each of the surrounding regions.

    Source: 2017 NSW Workforce Profile
    Note: All figures are 2017 census period headcount.

    Work Region Live and work Sydney East Commute to Sydney West Commute to Central Coast Commute to Illawarra
    Sydney East 89,495 18,321 693 798
    Work Region Commute to Sydney East Live and work Sydney West Commute to Central Coast Commute to Illawarra
    Sydney West 26,476 70,099 376 662
    Work Region Commute to Sydney East Commute to Sydney West Live and work Central Coast Commute to Illawarra
    Central Coast 4,005 993 12,378 39
    Work Region Commute to Sydney East Commute to Sydney West Commute to Central Coast Live and work Illawarra
    Illawarra 3,440 1,732 50 12,529

    NSW Public Sector commuting patterns

    People are more likely to work in the region in which they live than in another region. However, substantial numbers of NSW public sector employees commute to Sydney from each of the surrounding regions.

      • Work Sydney East

        89,495

      • Work Sydney West

        18,321

      • Work Central Coast

        693

      • Work Illawarra

        798

      • Work Sydney East

        26,476

      • Work Sydney West

        70,099

      • Work Central Coast

        376

      • Work Illawarra

        662

      • Work Sydney East

        3,440

      • Work Sydney West

        1,732

      • Work Central Coast

        50

      • Work Illawarra

        12,529

      • Work Sydney East

        4,005

      • Work Sydney West

        993

      • Work Central Coast

        12,378

      • Work Illawarra

        39

    Source: 2017 NSW Workforce Profile
    Note: All figures are 2017 census period headcount.

Our performance

  • Government Sector net worth has steadily increased, while the proportion of general government expenditure related to employee costs decreases. Note this decrease in employee expenditure correlates to the decline in fulltime equivalent employees over the same period.

  • Government sector net worth in 2016-17

    $ 224.9 bn

    icon representing government net worth in 2016 to 2017

    Source: NSW Treasury, Budget Statement 2017-18

    Employee-related costs as a percentage of general government expenditure

    47.6%

    2016-17

    1. 48.7%

      2013-14

    2. 48.9%

      2014-15

    3. 48.3%

      2015-16

    Source: NSW Government Treasury Budget Statement 2017–18, p. 7-3, and Budget Statement 2015-16, p.5-31.

  • Median salary in the NSW public sector, 2017

    $83,689

    Icon representing salary

    Source: 2017 NSW Workforce Profile

    Percentage increases in median salary, 2007–17

    2007-08 3.8
    2008-09 4.5
    2009-10 4.7
    2010-11 3.8
    2011-12 2.8
    2012-13 2.8
    2013-14 2.3
    2014-15 2.3
    2015-16 2.5
    2016-17 2.5

    Source: 2017 NSW Workforce Profile

  • Median salary by gender, 2017

    • $83,689

      Women

    • $83,941

      Men

    Annual gender pay gap, 2017

    $252

    Source: 2017 NSW Workforce Profile
    Note: The gender pay gap calculation follows the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) method, and is defined as the difference between the median salaries of males and females, relative to the median salary of men. Employee salary means the full-time base remuneration of the role, regardless of whether the employee is working part-time or full-time.

    Decreases in the annual gender pay gap, 2007-17 (%)

    2007 5.1
    2008 4.3
    2009 4.1
    2010 1.8
    2011 1.1
    2012 1.4
    2013 1.4
    2014 1.2
    2015 1.9
    2016 0.7
    2017 0.3

    Source: 2017 NSW Workforce Profile

  • NSW public sector engagement index and response rates

    65%

    Engagement Index

    2017

    NSW public sector engagement score range, 2014—17

    Sector employee engagement remained at 65% in 2017, but each year the range of agency scores narrows, and more agencies have moved closer to the mean.

    2014 2016 2017
    62% - 73% 62% - 71% 63% - 71%

    Source: People Matter Employee Survey
    Note: The boxes show the range of agency scores that sit within the second and third quartiles of the engagement index, and vertical lines show the minimum and maximum agency engagement scores across each year.

    NSW public sector responses rates, 2012-17

    140,063 public sector employees responded to the People Matter Employee Survey in 2017, more than double the number who did in 2012.

    NSW Public Sector 2017 2016 2014 2012
    Number of responses 140,063 127,191 73,550 60,779
    Response rate 42.0% 35.8% 19.4% 16.0%

    Source: People Matter Employee Survey

  • Senior Leadership Index key performance indicator, 2016—17

    The Senior Leadership Index tracks trends in employee perceptions of senior leaders. Chapter 3, on leadership, contains further details of the People Matter Employee Survey questions used for the index.

    2016 2017
    53.5 54.8

    Source: People Matter Employment Survey

    Performance Management Index, 2016-17

    The Performance Management Index tracks trends in employees’ performance management experiences and provides an overall score. Chapter 2, on acquiring and building capability, contains further details of the People Matter Employee Survey questions included in the index.

    2016 2017
    59.1 60.5

    Source: People Matter Employee Survey

  • Hours of paid unscheduled absence per full-time equivalent employee, 2012—17

    1. 61.4

      2012

    2. 62.3

      2013

    3. 63.7

      2014

    4. 65.1

      2015

    5. 67.1

      2016

    6. 64.1

      2017

    Source: 2017 NSW Workforce Profile

Return to top