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.
Table 4.1: Employment categories by service, annual FTE, 2019
|NSW Health Service
|NSW Police Force
|Other Crown services
|Total government sector
|State owned corporations
|External to government sector
|Total public sector
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.
Table 4.2: Public sector employment categories comparison, annual FTE, 2018–191
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.