ForewordWorkforce Profile 2017

The following report provides the detail on the 19th edition of the Workforce Profile. The annual census is underpinned by collaboration between the PSC and agencies across the sector to provide a comprehensive picture of the shape and characteristics of the NSW public sector. This extensive dataset provides the basis for sector-wide analysis, insights, and for the development of workforce policy to create a continually improving and capable workforce.

The Workforce Profile Report is a companion report to the NSW State of the Public Sector Report 2017 (SOPSR), and is sourced extensively in SOPSR.  SOPSR provides an assessment of the whole of the public sector including notable achievements, challenges and priorities, and an analysis of public sector workforce data.

The 2017 analysis reports that the NSW public sector has reduced in size for the fifth consecutive year, primarily as a result of privatisations of State owned corporations. In contrast, the number of teachers, police, and nurses has continued to grow in size.

This report also provides an extensive analysis on leaders in the sector. With the senior executive structural reforms now complete, Public Service Senior Executives can for the first time be seen as a single cohort employed under the Government Sector Employment Act (2013). This transition has caused the number of executives in the Public Service to fall from 2,178 in 2014 to 1,938.

Another notable feature in this year’s report is the continued reduction of the gender pay gap. This has fallen from close to $1,800 in 2007 in annual salary to $252. The rate of reduction if maintained could see this comparative measure reach or pass parity as early as next year.

Similar to past years, this report explores the various aspects of diversity of our workforce. While the number of senior leaders who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander has increased to 71, there has also been momentum in the levels below.  Notably, there has been a positive shift in the proportion of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander employees at more senior award grades, effectively building a deeper pipeline of future leaders and challenging the long term trend of Aboriginal employees based predominantly in the most junior grades. The focus provided by the Premier’s Priority targets on diversity is also aiding the push towards gender equality by 2025. This year the rate increased by 1.3 percentage points to 37.4%. Creating further momentum, collaboration across the sector supported by sophisticated analysis will be important in the next few years to see both Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and gender targets realised.

Despite progress in some diversity areas, representation of people with disability continues to fall and in 2017 is reported at 2.7%. There is significant focus on this area, and work on improving the quality and reporting of this information will be important in turning the ten year declining trend back towards the representation seen in other sectors and where NSW was in the past.

The last section of the report extends on the analysis into paid unscheduled absence (PUA) that has featured in the last two Workforce Profiles.  The 2017 analysis considers the positive result this year of falling PUA and explores the relationship between paid unscheduled analysis, mobility, tenure and engagement, linking results from People Matter Employee Survey with the Workforce Profile.  

The PSC would like to thank all agencies who have participated in providing data and insight into the changes seen across the sector.