About this report

This report contains analysis of NSW public sector Workforce Profile data; contingent labour data collected by NSW Procurement; and recruitment data collected from public sector agencies’ source systems where available. 

The Workforce Profile is a census of NSW public sector employees conducted by the Public Service Commission. Various data items used to inform workforce management and planning are collected, including the size, composition, location and demographics of the workforce. Participation is mandatory for all NSW government sector agencies and State Owned Corporations, and optional for NSW public sector agencies that are external to the government.
 

Data conventions

Numbers have been rounded to zero decimal places, and percentages to one decimal place. Consequently, percentages less than 0.04% will be reported as 0.0% after rounding. Rounding may also mean that individual items within a table do not sum to the corresponding total.

Census date

The census date was 24 June 2021. 

Data limitations

The following data limitations are noted:

  1. Data accuracy may be affected by omissions, inaccuracies or miscoded data provided by contributing agencies.
  2. Differences in totals in some tables, compared to summary figures, may occur due to rounding, or missing, withdrawn or invalid data. Variations between the data in this document and that published by individual agencies may be due to differences in timing, data definitions and methodologies used.
  3. All data represents a ‘snapshot’ at slightly different points in time and is subject to revision. Workforce Profile data includes all data submitted and verified as at 17 September 2021. Recruitment data (I work for NSW data) was extracted on 10 October 2021. Contingent labour was that supplied by NSW Procurement for the 2020–21 financial year. Health and a majority of Transport activity is not captured in the recruitment dataset. Industry data for the period of 2017 to 2019 is also excluded.

Regional reference table

The regions presented in this report are from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Statistical Area Level 4 classification.

Region    ABS Statistical Area Level 4 
Sydney Sydney East  Sydney – City and Inner South
Sydney – Eastern Suburbs
Sydney – Inner South West
Sydney – Inner West
Sydney – North Sydney and Hornsby
Sydney – Northern Beaches
Sydney – Ryde
Sydney – Sutherland
Sydney Sydney West Sydney – Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury
Sydney – Blacktown
Sydney – Outer South West
Sydney – Outer West and Blue Mountains
Sydney – Parramatta
Sydney – South West
Non-Sydney  Capital Region
Central Coast
Central West
Coffs Harbour – Grafton
Far West and Orana
Hunter Valley excluding Newcastle
Illawarra
Mid North Coast
Murray
New England and North West
Newcastle and Lake Macquarie
Richmond – Tweed
Riverina
Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven
Capital Region
Central Coast
Central West
Coffs Harbour – Grafton
Far West and Orana
Hunter Valley excluding Newcastle
Illawarra
Mid North Coast
Murray
New England and North West
Newcastle and Lake Macquarie
Richmond – Tweed
Riverina
Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven

 

Glossary

This section defines the terminology used in this report.

Term  Business definition 
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees Employees who identify as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent and who are accepted as such by the community in which they live.
Annual reference period The annual reference period starts on the day following the last pay date of the previous financial year and ends on the last pay date of the current financial year.
Remuneration The annual salary or salary package that an employee would receive if they worked full time. It excludes overtime, allowances and lump sum payments. It is different to actual earnings, which are affected by factors such as part-time work, overtime, allowances and lump sum payments.
ANZSCO

Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), catalogue number 1220.0). ANZSCO is a skill-based classification used to classify all occupations and jobs in the Australian and New Zealand labour markets.

ANZSCO has five hierarchical levels which are as follows from high to low: major group, sub-major group, minor group, unit group and occupation. This report uses ANZSCO major group, ANZSCO minor group and occupation when analysing occupations in the workforce profile data.

Census date The last pay date of the annual reference period.
Census period The last pay fortnight of the annual reference period.
Completed applications The number of applications for ‘open’ or ‘filled’ I work for NSW requisitions for which the latest application completion date is in the reference period.
Diversity Workforce diversity initiatives in the government sector aim to build a workforce that reflects the diversity of the wider community. Under the Government Sector Employment Act 2013, diversity groups include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, women, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and people with disability. The Act also provides for a broader definition of diversity, including mature workers, young people and carers.
Diversity estimate Diversity estimates are calculated if the diversity response rate threshold of 65% is met. Where response rates are below the threshold, actual rates are reported. The estimate is calculated by taking the number of diversity group members divided by the number of respondents to at least one diversity question in any given year and then multiplying by the total number of employees. For this reason, estimates are always higher than actual rates.
Diversity response rate This is calculated by taking the number of employees who identify as belonging to any combination of diversity group classification, including ‘English not first language spoken’, ‘racial, ethnic, ethno-religious minority group’, ‘disability’ and ‘Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander’, and dividing by the total number of employees.
Employment arrangement A non-casual employee’s work arrangement, classified as either full time or part time.
Employment categories

Based on a worker’s employment contract with an agency. Categories include:

  • ongoing – employed on a continuing basis to perform ongoing functions
  • temporary – non-casual employees who do not have ongoing conditions of employment or individual employment contracts, and who are employed for a specific period
  • casual – employees engaged to perform work ‘as required’ and who are paid at an hourly rate equal to the relevant classification of the position, with a loading
  • executive – includes Public Service senior executives employed under contracts starting before the implementation of the Government Sector Employment Act 2013 (GSE Act); senior executives employed under Division 4 of Part 4 of the GSE Act; and other public sector senior executives under contract arrangements, including Health, Transport and Police executives.
  • contract – employees (non-executive) who are employed via a fixed-term individual contract. Excludes contractors and consultants engaged on a fee‑for‑service basis
  • other – all other employment categories including cadets, trainees, apprentices, retained staff, sessional workers, seasonal workers and statutory appointees.
Full-time employees Employees who usually work 35 hours or more a week. See ABS, Labour statistics: Concepts, sources and methods, cat. no. 6102.0.55.001.
Full-time equivalent (FTE) workforce

A standardised way of describing the size of the workforce based on the total number of ordinary time paid hours worked (excluding overtime and unpaid work). ‘FTE workforce’ describes the total number of full-time employees required to account for all ordinary time paid hours worked. It is not a count of the number of employees. For example, two employees who both work half the standard number of full-time hours will together be counted as one FTE employee.

The FTE workforce can be measured during a period, such as the last pay period of the financial year (census period).

Since the same method of counting can be applied to each agency, FTE staffing figures provide the most accurate indication of resource levels within the NSW public sector.

Gender pay gap

Defined by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development as the difference between the median salary of males and females relative to the median salary of males. Employee salary is the full-time base remuneration for the role, regardless of whether the employee is working part time or full time.

Headcount

Total number of employees at a given time.

Employees with multiple periods of employment in a single agency during the year are counted only once by most agencies. However, the payroll systems used by some agencies do not link employment periods, so these agencies report each period of employment as a separate employee. Employees with periods of employment in different agencies during the year are counted as separate employees in each agency. In the health service, this also applies to employees working in more than one Local Health District.

Headcount includes all employees who worked during a period, even if they only worked for one day. Total employees (headcount) figures and full-time equivalent (FTE) figures are both reported because they provide different perspectives on the workforce. FTE translates the headcount figures into a proportion of the hours worked by an FTE staff member. For example, a person working one day per week would be counted as 1.0 under the headcount and 0.2 under FTE (that is, they work 20% of the time that a full-time employee works). Headcount figures therefore provide a picture of how many people were employed during the period, whereas FTE is a more accurate indicator of resource levels.

Job advertisements The number of ‘open’ and ‘filled’ I work for NSW requisitions where the latest application completion date is in the reference period.
Job mobility Changes in the employment status of an employee, including commencement in an agency, promotion to a higher level, transfer from one agency to another, and exit from the agency or public sector.
Language first spoken as a child The language the person first spoke as a child, as distinct from the preferred language or language usually spoken at home.
Median The middle value of a distribution, where half of the values are above, and half are below. The median is often preferred over the mean in calculating the middle ground in a set of values as it is less sensitive to extreme values than the mean.
Non-casual employees All persons engaged to work in a NSW Government agency and paid through the agency’s payroll system, excluding employees working for an hourly rate (casual, sessional, seasonal and retained staff).
NSW employed persons

The ABS defines employed persons as those aged 15 or over who, during the reference week:

  • worked for one hour or more for pay, profit, commission or payment in kind in a job or business, or on a farm (comprising employees, employers and own account workers); or
  • worked for one hour or more without pay in a family business or on a farm (i.e. contributing family workers); or
  • were employees who had a job but were not at work and were:
    • away from work for less than 4 weeks up to the end of the reference week; or
    • away from work for more than 4 weeks up to the end of the reference week and received pay for some or all of the 4-week period to the end of the reference week; or
    • away from work as a standard work or shift arrangement; or
    • on strike or locked out; or
    • on workers’ compensation and expected to return to their job; or
    • were employers or own account workers, who had a job, business or farm, but were not at work.
Ongoing employees Those employed on a continuing basis to perform ongoing functions.
Openings The number of available positions for ‘open’ and ‘filled’ requisitions where the latest application completion date is in the reference period and the number of openings was less than 99. This calculation excludes requisitions that were recorded as having unlimited openings.
Paid unscheduled absence Sum of hours of paid sick leave and paid carers leave hours taken during the reference period. This includes employees with a valid sick leave entitlement and annual FTE not missing.
Part-time employees Employed persons who usually work fewer than 35 hours a week. (See ABS, Labour statistics: Concepts, sources and methods, cat. no. 6102.0.55.001)
Person with disability

A person who identifies as having a disability – that is, having one or more of the following limitations or restrictions:

  • a long-term medical condition or ailment
  • speech difficulties in their native language
  • a disfigurement or deformity
  • a psychiatric condition
  • a head injury, stroke or any other brain damage
  • loss of sight or hearing
  • incomplete use of any part of their body
  • blackouts, fits or loss of consciousness
  • restriction in physical activities or physical work
  • slowness at learning or understanding
  • any other condition resulting in a restriction.
Public sector exit rate The number of employees who left the public sector during the year as a proportion of the average number of people employed during the year.
Regional Regional and metropolitan areas are defined using local government areas (LGAs), with all Sydney LGAs as well as Newcastle and Wollongong LGAs classified as metropolitan.
Senior executive cohort Public Service senior executives employed under Division 4 of Part 4 of the Government Sector Employment Act 2013, the aligned executive service (Health Police and Transport), Special Executive Service, Senior Executive Service equivalents, and award-based senior executives (senior officers and their equivalents).
Senior leader Government sector employees with a salary equal to or higher than $166,247 who lead people and/or services. Excludes Health Service roles of a specialist or technical nature with no leadership or managerial responsibilities, and Justice roles of a statutory or institutional character (judges, magistrates and barristers).
Separation rate The number of employees who left an agency during the year as a proportion of the average number of people employed during the year.
Statistical Area Level 4 (SA4) Geographical areas within an ABS geographical framework for the collection, analysis and release of regional data. They are the largest sub-state regions in the Australian Statistical Geography Standard, designed for the output of such data as the ABS Labour Force Survey data, which reflects labour markets within each state or territory.
Successful applications The number of applications that have a hired date, for ‘open’ or ‘filled’ requisitions where the latest application completion date is in the reference period.
Temporary employees Non-casual employees who do not have ongoing conditions of employment, do not have individual employment contracts and who are employed for a specific period.
Tenure The length of employment within an agency.
Time to hire The average number of weeks from the application date to hired date. Excludes requisitions with multiple openings which can have extended periods for advertisement.
Trainees, cadets and apprentices Staff members whose employment conditions require them to undergo a designated training program as part of their vocational development.