Key Occupation Groups
Clerical and Administrative Workers
School Support Staff
Social and Welfare Professionals
Cleaners and Laundry workers
Food preparation assistants
Employment category, annual FTE, 2018
Part-time employees, census headcount, 2018
Changes in annual FTE – sector, services and key occupations
Annual FTE is the sum of all paid hours worked over the reference period. It provides
the most accurate view of the human resources used to deliver government services
to the people of NSW. While year-on-year change in the size of the sector is reported
using census period FTE, annual FTE is a better measure when looking at the balance
between ongoing, temporary and casual employment. This is because annual FTE
considers seasonal variations in some parts of the sector, such as with the number of
Table 4.1: Public sector employment categories comparison, annual FTE, 2017 and 2018
More than three-quarters of public sector employees in 2018 were ongoing
employees (76.8%) and 15.4% were temporary employees. These two categories
account for more than nine in 10 public sector employees.
The proportion of ongoing employees in the public sector decreased in 2018 by
0.9 percentage points (2,216 FTE, see Table 4.1). This is in part due to a decrease
of 2,636 FTE from the transfer of disability services to private providers under the
NDIS. There was also a decrease of 3,521 FTE (36.7%) in State owned corporations
due to the privatisation of Ausgrid (1,491 FTE), Endeavour Energy (1,494 FTE) and
the Superannuation Administration Corporation (Pillar) (239 FTE) in 2017.
Despite the overall decrease, annual FTE for ongoing roles increased for the Health
Service and the Teaching Service in 2018, with an increase of 2.0% (1,778 FTE) and 0.8%
(331 FTE) respectively. The Health Service and Teaching Service together account for
over half of ongoing FTE (54.7%), 67.9% of temporary FTE and 63.7% of casual FTE
(see Table 4.2). These large cohorts can drive overall FTE change at sector level.
Table 4.2: Employment categories by service, annual FTE, 2018
In contrast, the number of temporary employees grew, both in absolute terms (an
increase of 2,588 FTE since 2017) and as a proportion of the total public sector (from
14.6% in 2017 to 15.4% in 2018). The largest contributor to the increase in FTE among
temporary employees is the NSW Health Service (857 FTE, 5.5%) with an increase in
medical practitioners and nurses across most local health districts. Other drivers of
the increase include the Teaching Service, up by 797 (4.8%), predominantly due to an
increase in temporary school teachers. Other Crown services have an additional 621
FTE temporary employees (up 8.7%) within school administrative and support staff,
largely related to an increase in teachers’ aides.
The annual FTE for casual employment remained steady, increasing by 203 (1.2%)
from 2017 to 2018. Proportionally, the representation of casual employees in the
sector remained the same, at 5.2% in 2017 and 2018.
The proportion of non-casual part-time employees in the NSW public sector
increased from 25.7% in 2008 to 27.8% in 2018. This represents an increase of
0.2 percentage points compared to 2017, when the figure was 27.6%.
Figure 4.3 shows other Crown services had the highest proportion of non-casual
part-time employees in 2018, at 59.3% (21,847 employees). These employees were
primarily in School Administrative and Support (11,022 Teachers’ Aides and 9,703
General Clerks). The NSW Health Service had the second highest proportion of parttime
employees (32.1% or 42,185). The largest groups were Midwifery and Nursing
Professionals (16,770), Medical Practitioners (3,726), Health and Welfare Support
Workers (3,176) and Personal Carers and Assistants (2,121).
The highest proportions of full-time employees were in State owned corporations
(95.5%), the Police Force (91.1%) and the external to government sector (88.1%)
(see Figure 4.3).
In the NSW Police Force, 76.8% of employees were Police Officers. Most worked fulltime
(92.2%), while 87.5% of other employees also worked full-time. In the Transport
Service, Bus and Train Drivers made up 27.0% of the workforce and 98.1% of these
roles were full-time.
Table 4.3: Employment arrangement by service, non-casual census headcount, 2018
The proportion of staff members working part-time varied considerably across
salary bands (see Figure 4.4). In the lowest band ($8,000–$61,658) the proportion
was highest, with 52.3% of employees working part-time. The non-linear distribution of
part-time working arrangements as salary increased shows that the notion of parttime
roles becoming less available as remuneration increases doesn’t hold, although
this pattern was impacted by prominent roles. Medical Practitioners made up 90.9%
of part-time employees in the salary ranges from 157,763 to 261,451.
The contingent workforce
Contingent labour forms part of the overall public sector workforce, with workers
typically employed to meet a short-term need or to address a capability gap. Data on
contingent labour use and spend is maintained by NSW Procurement. This is sourced
both from Contractor Central, which is the NSW Government’s vendor management
system, and from records held outside this system.
There were an estimated 7,003 FTE2 of contingent labour workers in 2017–18, and
76.8% of workers had contracts of less than 12 months duration.
Similar to 2016 and 2017, the largest proportion of contingent labour was in the
administration category, accounting for 25.1% of the FTE (1,758 FTE). However, this
category only accounts for 11.1% of reported expenditure. The highest area of spend
was in the information and communication technology (ICT) categories. These
account for 49.7% of the total reported costs and 34.9% of the FTE (2,445 FTE),
reflecting the higher average remuneration of these roles. ICT expenditure collectively
increased 2 percentage points compared to 2017 and accounted for three of the top
five expenditure categories.
Table 4.4: Top five contingent labour roles by expenditure, 2018 4
1 The ‘Other’ category includes employees whose employment category is Contract Executive, Contract
Non-Executive, Statutory Appointee, Transport Senior Manager or Other
2 FTE is estimated by dividing the total hours worked by contract length and then converting to FTE. An
entire year assumes a 35-hour week for 52 weeks. Due to the nature of the contingent labour data, this is
an estimate only and not directly comparable to workforce profile data
3 Excludes records where contract length cannot be determined, due to incorrect or missing dates
4 Contingent labour data uses a different role classification taxonomy than the workforce profile