Commencements and separations vary widely by age, and trend lower with increasing age until the 50 to 54 age range and older, where separations increase (see Figure 7.4). Commencements include where employees move between public sector agencies, and separations include moves to other agencies and exits from the sector, including retirements.
The rate of commencement in 2022 for those aged 50 or over was around a third of the level of commencements for those aged under 50 (4.6% compared to 14.8%). Overall, 34.6% of NSW public sector employees are over 50, and 4.4% are 65 or over. There has been 1.4pp increase in the commencement rate of employees aged 50 or over in the past 5 years, from 3.2% (4,272 employees) in 2018 to 4.6% (6,524 employees) in 2022.
Employees aged 50 to 54 had the lowest separation rate in 2022 (9.4%) and comprise up to 10.3% of the NSW public sector. In contrast, employees aged 65 or over account for just 4.4% of the NSW public sector workforce and had the highest separation rate and lowest commencement rate, at 24.0% and 2.1% respectively.
The top 5 key occupations with the highest commencement rate for people aged 50 or over were Clerical and Administrative Workers, Food Preparation Assistants, Cleaners and Laundry Workers, Social and Welfare Professionals, and Labourers. These occupations accounted for 21.3% of employees in this age group.