NSW public sector
at a glance

This year's key data points.

See all chapters

Number of full-time equivalent (FTE) employees

The public sector grew for the first time since 2012. Most of the 3,088 FTE increase from 2017 to 2018 was due to increases in the numbers of teachers, police officers and health professionals (1,956 FTE). The sector also grew at a slower rate than the number of NSW employed persons.

329,005

Source: Workforce Profile (2018)

Source: Workforce Profile (2009-2018)

Sources: Workforce Profile (2013–2018); ABS (2018a)

Source: Workforce Profile (2017, 2018)

FTE by cluster

The NSW public sector is structured into 10 clusters to coordinate related services.

 

Source: Workforce Profile (2018)

Note: percentages indicate the contribution of the cluster FTE to the total public sector FTE.

  • 117,957
    35.9%
    Health
  • 92,836
    28.2%
    Education
  • 41,287
    12.5%
    Justice
  • 25,574
    7.8%
    Transport
  • 17,220
    5.2%
    Industry
  • 13,773
    4.2%
    Planning & Environment
  • 9,037
    2.7%
    Family and Community Services
  • 7,410
    2.3%
    Finance, Services & Innovation
  • 1,477
    0.4%
    Treasury
  • 1,436
    0.4%
    Premier & Cabinet
  • 998
    0.3%
    External to government sector

Sources: Workforce Profile (2018); ABS (2018b)

FTE for key occupations

Key frontline roles continue to grow so the public sector can better serve the NSW community.

Source: Workforce Profile (2018)

  • School Teachers

    66,481

  • Nurses

    47,942

  • Police Officers

    16,221

  • Medical Practitioners

    11,932

  • Firefighters

    4,091

  • Ambulance Officers

    4,030

  • Train drivers

    1,919

  • School Support Staff

    21,851

  • Cleaners and Laundry workers

    4,886

  • Labourers

    4,233

  • Bus drivers

    3,756

  • Prison officers

    3,606

  • Food preparation assistants

    1,973

  • Clerical and Administrative Workers

    31,032

  • Social and welfare officers

    7,303

  • All other staff

    97,750

Sources: Workforce Profile (2014, 2018)

Note: Grades are aligned with the Crown Employees (Administrative and Clerical Officers Salaries) Award 2007

Government sector senior executives ...

3,115

... as a proportion of the non-casual government sector workforce

0.9%

Source: Workforce Profile (2018)

Source: Workforce Profile (2014-2018)

Headcount and contribution to overall employment by NSW region

Most public sector employees work in Sydney. However, the public sector contributes far more to overall employment in regional areas.

NSW regions

Region Headcount Contribution to employment (%)
Hunter Valley excl. Newcastle 10,584 7.6
Mid-North Coast 10,647 12.0
New England & North West 10,748 13.7
Far West & Orana 10,170 17.3
Coffs Harbour — Grafton 8,024 12.9
Richmond — Tweed 12,133 10.2
Capital Region 10,612 10.4
Riverina 9,539 11.5
Murray 5,570 10.7
Central West 13,856 13.3

Source: Workforce Profile (2018), ABS (2018c)

  • Hunter Valley
  • Mid North Coast
  • New England and North West
  • Far West & Orana
  • Coffs Harbour - Grafton
  • Richmond - Tweed
  • Capital Region
  • Riverina
  • Murray
  • Central West
  • Sydney

Sydney regions

Region Headcount Contribution to employment (%)
Sydney East 132,081 8.8
Sydney West 96,190 9.0
Newcastle & Lake Macquarie 23,085 12.2
Central Coast 15,666 8.9
Illawarra 15,074 10.1
Southern Highlands & Shoalhaven 5,909 9.9

Source: Workforce Profile (2018), ABS (2018c)

  • Sydney East
  • Sydney West
  • Newcastle & Lake Macquarie
  • Central Coast
  • Illawarra
  • Southern Highlands & Shoalhaven

Median agency tenure in years, 2018 vs 2017

9
years
in 2018
9.3
years
in 2017

Source: Workforce Profile (2017, 2018)

Sources: Workforce Profile (2018); ABS (2016a; 2017a)

Sources: Workforce Profile (2018); ABS (2017b; 2018d)

Sources: Workforce Profile (2018); ABS (2015a; 2016b)

Sources: Workforce Profile (2018); ABS (2016c; 2016d)

Note: Diversity statistics are based on self-disclosure.

Sources: Workforce Profile (2018); ABS (2015b; 2015c)

4.1 %

Source: People Matter Employee Survey (2018)

Source: Workforce Profile (2014-2018)

Source: Workforce Profile (2009-2018)

Progress on the Premier’s Priority to drive public sector diversity, 2014–2018

Women in senior leadership

33.4%
2,520
2014
33.8%
2,522
2015
36.1%
2,795
2016
37.4%
3,114
2017
38.7%
3,375
2018
Target
50%
2025

Source: Workforce Profile (2014-2018)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in senior leadership

57
2014
55
2015
63
2016
71
2017
87
2018
Target
114
2025

Source: Workforce Profile (2014-2018)

Government sector net worth

$ 261.1bn

Source: NSW Treasury Budget Statement 2017–18 (2018)

Government sector employee-related expenses as a percentage of general government expenditure, 2018 vs 2017

  • 47.6%
    2017
  • 46.8%
    2018

Sources: NSW Treasury Budget Statement 2016‑17 (2017); NSW Treasury Budget Statement 2017–2018 (2018)

Median salary, 2018 vs 2017

$ 85,782

a $2,093 or 2.5% increase from 2017

Source: Workforce Profile (2018)

Source: Workforce Profile (2009-2018)

Median salary by gender

$85,782
for women
$86,731
for men

Source: Workforce Profile (2018)

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.

  • Gender pay gap
    $949

Source: People Matter Employee Survey (2012–2018)

Source: People Matter Employee Survey (2012–2018)

A total of 170,832 public sector employees responded to the People Matter survey in 2018, equating to a response rate of 50.7%. This was an 8.7 percentage point increase on the previous year. The survey has seen substantial year-on-year increases in participation.

Senior Leadership
key performance indicator,
2018 vs 2017

  • 54.8
    2017
  • 56.0
    2018

The Senior Leadership Index tracks employee perceptions of senior leaders and is scored out of 100. Chapter 3, on leadership, contains further information about the index.

Source: People Matter Employee Survey (2017, 2018)

Performance Management
key performance indicator,
2018 vs 2017

  • 60.5
    2017
  • 61.9
    2018

The Performance Management Index tracks employee perceptions of their experiences with performance management and is scored out of 100. Chapter 2, on acquiring and building capability, contains further information about the index.

Source: People Matter Employee Survey (2017, 2018)

Customer satisfaction for consumers and businesses, 2018 vs 2017

for consumers
  • 79.3
    2017
  • 78.9
    2018
for businesses
  • 78.3
    2017
  • 78.2
    2018

Source: Customer Satisfaction Measurement Survey (2017, 2018)

Hours of paid unscheduled absence per FTE, 2014-2018

  • 63.7
    2014
  • 65.1
    2015
  • 67.1
    2016
  • 64.1
    2017
  • 65.2
    2018

Source: Workforce Profile (2014-2018)

Employees who know how to address health and safety issues in their workplace

84.5%

Source: People Matter Employee Survey (2018)