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, 2019
Part time employees, census headcount, 2019
Changes in FTE – sector, services and key occupations
At June 2019, the total public sector number of census period full-time equivalent (FTE) employees increased by 2.7% compared to 2018 (up 8,782 FTE). The largest contributors to the increase were Clerical and Administrative Workers (+1,989 FTE, 4.6%), School Support Staff (+1,241 FTE, 5.7%), and the key frontline roles of Police Officers, Nurses and Teachers (+1,548 FTE).
The large increase (47.4%) in the Clerical and Administrative Workers occupation group was driven by the increase in Contract, Program and Project Administrators (+944 FTE). These were primarily in the Health and Transport clusters which account for 46.9% of the increase.
Annual full-time equivalent (FTE) is used when looking at the balance between ongoing, temporary and casual employment as it accounts for any seasonal variations in casual employment, particularly in frontline service delivery roles. Annual FTE is the sum of all paid hours worked over the annual reference period.
More than three-quarters of public sector employees in 2019 were ongoing employees (76.2%). Temporary employees accounted for 17.1% of the public sector workforce, up 1.7pp from the previous year. These two categories account for more than nine in 10 public sector employees.
In absolute terms, annual FTE for ongoing employees increased 2,438 across the sector in 2019. Key contributors to the increase were the Health Service and the Teaching Service, with an increase of 2.0% (1,876 FTE) and 3.3% (1,454 FTE) respectively. The Health Service and Teaching Service together account for 55.9% of all employment.
The proportion of ongoing employees in the public sector decreased in 2019 by 0.6pp. The drop was driven by the Transport Service, with a decrease of 14.6% or 1,628 FTE from 2018. This is largely due to State Transit Authority franchising Region 6, which accounted for almost 60% of the decrease.
There was a shift in temporary and casual employees, with a 12.9% increase in temporary employees and 21.8% decrease in casual employees. The primary contributor to this change is the Education cluster. However, Education confirmed that this is largely due to changes to the categorisation of employees who worked both in temporary and casual employment, rather than actual change in the balance of employment arrangements. This occurred due to Education’s migration to a new payroll system. Outside Education, the Health cluster contributed an increase of 573 FTE in temporary employees in 2019, which largely related to an increase in Medical Practitioners (273 FTE).
Considered together, temporary and casual employees increased by 2,740 FTE or 4.1% from 2018, which is more in line with the increase in ongoing employees.
While the proportion of non-casual part-time employees in the NSW public sector increased over 10 years, from 24.9% in 2010 to 26.9% in 2019, there was a decrease of 0.9pp compared to 2018. This decrease primarily relates to Education, which confirmed that its method of recording usual hours worked for part-time employees changed in its migration to a new payroll system. For this reason it is unclear whether there is any real decrease in part-time employment.
Figure 4.1 shows other Crown services had the highest proportion of non-casual part-time employees in 2019, at 54.4% (24,622 employees). These employees were primarily in School Administrative and Support (12,737 Education Aides and 10,272 General Clerks). The NSW Health Service had the second highest proportion of part-time employees (36.5% or 49,592). The largest groups were Midwifery and Nursing Professionals (19,507), Medical Practitioners (4,198), Health and Welfare Support Workers (3,715) and Health Therapy Professionals (2,608).
The highest proportions of full-time employees were in State owned corporations (95.6%), the Police Force (91.4%) and agencies external to the government sector (88.0%) (see Figure 4.1).
The proportion of employees working part time varied considerably across salary bands (see Figure 4.2). While the highest representation was in the lowest band ($8,000–$63,199), where 55.5% of employees worked part time, there was around 25% representation in some higher salary ranges. In the salary range between $187,900 and $268,001, 27.7% employees worked part time and 90.1% of these were in specialised roles such as Medical Practitioners.
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. NSW Procurement maintains data on contingent labour use and spend. This is sourced from Contractor Central, which is the NSW Government’s vendor management system, and from records held outside this system.
The contingent labour workforce was estimated at 8,851 FTE2 over the period of 2018–19, with most contracts (84.9%) being relatively short term (less than 12 months). This represents a 26.4% increase in FTE, and an 8.1% increase in shorter-term contracts from the previous year.
Contingent FTE in information and communication technology (ICT) increased collectively by 36.3% from 2018. Implementation, management and support of ICT represents the largest category of contingent labour in both FTE and spend, accounting for 22.6% of FTE and 30.0% of expenditure. This is 7.8% higher than the next highest spend category of Specialists. Administration accounted for 21.1% of contingent labour FTE in 2019 (a decrease of 4.0% from 2018) and 10.1% of total reported costs (a fall of 1.0% from 2018). ICT contributes to three of the top five expenditure categories, at 48.9% of total reported expenditure and 37.7% of overall FTE (3,333).
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.