Chapter TwoWorkforce size & key changes

Headcount down by 109

FTE down by 789

The NSW public sector workforce was smaller in 2017 than in 2016, with net decreases in annual FTE (down by 1,369 or 0.4%), census period FTE (down by 789 or 0.2%), and census headcount (down by 109 or 0.03%) between the two years.

The driving force of these decreases was the privatisation of several State owned corporations, however, the effect of these privatisations on sector size was partially offset by modest growth in all other areas of the NSW public sector (see Figure 2.1).

 

The three metrics – annual Full Time Equivalent (FTE), census period FTE, and census headcount – are related but can produce different patterns of results across years. Annual FTE is the sum of all paid hours worked over the reference period (or financial year), while census period FTE is the sum of all paid hours worked over the two-week census period. The third measure, census headcount (also known as headcount at census date) is the number of persons employed on census date (in 2017, the census date was 29 June 2017). FTE, unlike headcount, accounts for employees working part-time and, therefore, provides a more accurate view of the human resources being used to deliver government services across the state.

1.2% growth NSW Employed persons 2017

Public Sector headcount remained stable

While the NSW public sector remained the largest employer in NSW in 2017, the overall pattern of year-on-year contraction since 2012 (see Figure 2.2 and Table 2.1) is in contrast to the growth observed in the broader NSW workforce over the same period1. From 2012 to 2017, the number of employed persons in NSW grew by 9.3%1, but the NSW public sector census headcount decreased by 2.1% (see Figure 2.3 for a ten-year time series of year on year changes in these data).

 

Table 2.1. Public Sector annual FTE, census period FTE, and census headcount, 1999–2017

Year Census headcount % change from previous year Census Period FTE % change from previous year Annual FTE % change from previous year
1999 330,380 - 272,863 - - -
2000 324,345 -1.8% 270,688 -0.8% - -
2001 336,251 3.7% - - - -
2002 339,372 0.9% 282,897 - 284,508 -
2003 343,847 1.3% 291,264 3.0% 283,688 -0.3%
2004 356,598 3.7% 291,701 0.2% 288,393 1.7%
2005 360,880 1.2% 294,376 0.9% 292,573 1.4%
2006 371,632 3.0% 303,534 3.1% 297,598 1.7%
2007 372,033 0.1% 312,201 2.9% 303,438 2.0%
2008 378,645 1.8% 316,400 1.3% 310,527 2.3%
2009 383,014 1.2% 319,059 0.8% 313,801 1.1%
2010 386,185 0.8% 322,452 1.1% 317,314 1.1%
2011 394,789 2.2% 330,400 2.5% 324,797 2.4%
2012 401,703 1.8% 332,555 0.7% 325,524 0.2%
2013 399,243 -0.6% 329,336 -1.0% 324,825 -0.2%
2014 396,036 -0.8% 328,111 -0.4% 324,688 0.0%
2015 394,194 -0.5% 326,765 -0.4% 324,135 -0.2%
2016 393,442 -0.2% 326,706 0.0% 324,477 0.1%
2017 393,333 0.0% 325,917 -0.2% 323,108 -0.4%
 

The reduction in size of the NSW public sector compared to the NSW workforce1 is captured in Figure 2.4. At 10.2%, the proportion of NSW employed persons who worked for the NSW public sector is at its lowest level since the commencement of the Workforce Profile in 1999, and is a full percentage point lower than it was a decade prior.

 

While there has been little change in the size of the NSW public sector overall, the composition of the sector has continued to transform (see Table 2.2). The Government Sector, which includes core government services, grew by 1.8% from 2016 to 2017.

Notably, the NSW Health Service continued its steady growth of recent years, with census period FTE up by 3,391 (or 3.1%) compared to 2016. This growth was driven by an increase of 1,429 FTE of nurses (up 3.1%) and of 493 FTE of medical practitioners (up 4.5%), and the cumulative effect of small increases across a range of other health roles.

Another key frontline service of the government, the Teaching Service, increased in size by 685 FTE (or 1.0%) from 2016, primarily due to the growth of 788 FTE of teachers.

The most significant movement in FTE across the sector was for State owned corporations. The large decrease of 6,565 FTE (or 46%), was a result of the completion of the privatisation of Ausgrid (3,893 FTE) and Endeavour Energy (2,015 FTE), as well as the privatisation of Pillar (635 FTE). Table 2.3 and Table 2.4 provide a summary of these and the major machinery of government changes that occurred during the 2017 reference period.

Table 2.2. Composition of Public Sector, census period FTE, 2016–2017

Service FTE 2016 FTE 2017 % Change
Public Service 61,339 62,020 1.1%
NSW Health Service 111,016 114,407 3.1%
NSW Police Force 19,689 19,759 0.4%
Teaching Service 65,696 66,381 1.0%
Transport Service2 12,948 13,404 3.5%
Other Crown Services 40,657 41,070 1.0%
Total Government Sector 311,346 317,041 1.8%
State Owned Corporations 14,276 7,712 -46.0%
External to Government Sector 1,083 1,164 7.5%
Total Public Sector 326,706 325,917 -0.2%

Table 2.3. Movements into clusters caused by machinery of government changes since June 20163

Cluster Movements into Cluster
Family & Community Services
  • Women NSW (24 FTE), transferred from Health
Industry
  • Destination NSW (126 FTE), Office of Sport (724 FTE) and Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust (153 FTE) divisions, transferred from Premier & Cabinet
  • Liquor Gaming and Racing (225 FTE) (previously Liquor Gaming/Emergency Management), transferred from Justice
Justice
  • Veterans Affairs (10 FTE), transferred from Premier & Cabinet
Planning & Environment
  • Art Gallery of NSW Trust (225 FTE), Australian Museum Trust (168 FTE), Trustees of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (246 FTE), Library Council of NSW (297 FTE) and Sydney Opera House Trust (535 FTE), transferred from Justice
  • Staff from Resources and Energy (430 FTE), Resources Regulator Compliance (149 FTE), were absorbed from Industry
  • Hunter Water Corporation (480 FTE), Sydney Water Corporation (2,555 FTE) and Essential Energy (3,158 FTE), transferred from Industry
Treasury
  • Insurance & Care NSW (462 FTE) (which now includes the Workers’ Compensation (Dust Diseases) Board, Lifetime Care & Support Authority and Self Insurance Corporation), transferred from Finance, Services & Innovation

Table 2.4. Movement out of clusters caused by machinery of government changes since June 20163

Cluster Movements out of Cluster
Family & Community Services
  • Privatised - Home Care Service (21 FTE)
Finance, Services & Innovation
  • Insurance & Care NSW (462 FTE) (which now includes the Workers’ Compensation (Dust Diseases) Board, Lifetime Care & Support Authority and Self Insurance Corporation), transferred to Treasury
Health
  • Women NSW (24 FTE), transferred to Family & Community Services
Industry
  • Privatised - Delta electricity (292 FTE), Transgrid (1,034 FTE) and Ausgrid (3,893 FTE)
  • Staff from Resources and Energy (430 FTE) staff, Resources Regulator Compliance (149 FTE), were absorbed into Planning & Environment
  • Hunter Water Corporation (480 FTE), Sydney Water Corporation (2,555 FTE) and Essential Energy (3,158 FTE), transferred to Planning & Environment
  • Endeavour Energy (2,015 FTE), transferred to Planning & Environment, then privatised
Justice
  • Liquor Gaming and Racing (225 FTE)  (previously Liquor Gaming/Emergency Management), transferred to Industry
  • Art Gallery of NSW Trust (225 FTE), Australian Museum Trust (168 FTE), Trustees of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (246 FTE), Library Council of NSW (297 FTE) and Sydney Opera House Trust (535 FTE), transferred to Planning & Environment
Planning & Environment
  • Privatised - Endeavour Energy (2,015 FTE), initially transferred from Industry
Premier & Cabinet
  • Destination NSW (126 FTE), Office of Sport (724 FTE) and Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust (153 FTE) divisions, transferred to Industry
  • Veterans Affairs (10 FTE), transferred to Justice
Transport
  • Independent Transport Safety Regulator (56 FTE), now a Federal entity2
Treasury
  • Privatised - Superannuation Administration (Pillar) (635 FTE)

End Notes

1 - Australian Bureau of Statistics, 6291.0.55.001 - Labour Force, Australia, Detailed. Table 16. Labour force status by Labour market region (ASGS) and sex, New South Wales
2 - In March 2017 the functions and staff of the NSW Independent Transport Safety Regulator (ITSR) were merged into the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator, which is administered by the Federal Government. Employees of ITSR were employed by the NSW Government up until March 2017 but have not been counted in this year’s WFP collection. In 2016, their census period FTE for ITSR was 56
3 - 2016 Census period FTE is provided as a gauge for the effect of the movement on the Sector/Cluster