A NSW Government website
Public Service Commission


Chapter 8

Number of openings


+39.4% vs 2021

Average time to hire

34.4 days

-10.3 days vs 2021

Number of advertisements and openings

Recruitment data from NSW public sector departments and agencies provides valuable insights into recruitment processes and trends across the sector.1

In 2022, 28,597 job advertisements were posted on I Work for NSW, a 24.7% increase from the previous year. Over the same period, the number of job openings increased by 39.4% (see Figure 8.1).

The highest number of openings in 2022 were in the job categories of Schools (8,632), Education and/or Training (5,413), Administration and Clerical (4,607), and Emergency Services (3,376).

Average time to hire

34.4 days2

Filling of roles

The average time to hire continues a downward trend, decreasing by 10 days from 2021 rates to 34.4 days (see Figure 8.2). While this data can be influenced by factors such as the completeness and accuracy of the digital record of all recruitment actions, this decrease may also reflect the need for faster recruitment action in a tightening labour market.


There was an increase in the separation and exit rates of non-casual public sector employees in 2022. The rate of employee separations from agencies increased from 8.7% to 13.5%, and the rate of employee exits from the public sector increased from 6.9% in 2021 to 11.2% in 2022.

Rates increased across all services in 2022, in part due to machinery of government (MOG) changes and restructures. The highest increases in separation and exit rates was in the Transport Service (see Table 8.1). Its separation rate was 34.4%, up from 9.0% in 2021, and the exit rate was 31.7%, up from 7.8% in 2021. This increase was largely due to the privatisation of State Transit Authority and higher separations due to a large-scale reform in Transport for NSW.

Table 8.1: Separations, exits and moves for non-casual public sector employees, by service, 2022

Service Separation from agency (%) Exit from public sector (%) Movement within public sector (%)
Public Service 15.3 11.1 4.2
NSW Health Service 14.2 10.9 3.3
NSW Police Force 9.4 8.4 1.0
Teaching Service 8.9 8.9 0.0
Transport Service 34.4 31.7 2.7
Other Crown services 12.5 11.2 1.3
Total government sector 13.6 11.2 2.4
State owned corporations 10.1 10.0 0.1
External to government sector 11.8 9.6 2.2
Total public sector 13.5 11.2 2.3


Employees aged 65 and over accounted for 8.7% of overall separations, with a separation rate of 24.0% and an exit rate of 23.7%, which was were mainly due to retirement (10.1%).

Employees aged 25 to 29 had the highest rate of movement within the sector (4.3%), mainly due to Medical Practitioners moving between Local Health Districts (15.7%). In 2022, the rate of movements within the sector continued to display the same pattern as 2021, with the highest rate being in the 25 to 29 age group and then progressively decreasing across the higher age ranges.

Agency tenure

Tenure, total sector (median)

7.4 years

-1.5 years vs 2013

Teachers’ tenure (median)

11.4 years

Police Officers’ tenure (median)

12.8 years

Nurses’ tenure (median)

8.3 years

Male tenure (median)

8.0 years

-1.3 years vs 2013

Female tenure (median)

7.3 years

-1.4 years vs 2013

In 2022, the median agency tenure of non-casual employees in the public sector decreased to its lowest level in the last decade. Median tenure peaked at 9.3 years in 2016 and 2017 and has trended down to 7.4 years in 2022 (see Figure 8.3). Median tenure decreased 0.7 years in 2022, the largest drop in median tenure in the past decade. This reflects the increased movements across the sector, with higher rates of separation and exit. The gap between male and female tenure was unchanged in 2022, with tenure for both women and men falling by 0.5 years, to 7.3 years and 8.0 years respectively.

As in previous years, the services in the government sector with the longest median tenure were NSW Police Force (12.1 years), the Teaching Service (11.4 years) and NSW Health Service (7.4 years) (see Table 8.1). Tenure is measured within the agency and is therefore generally longer in agencies with more specialist roles.

The Transport Service had the shortest median tenure in 2022, with the largest decrease of 1.8 years, from 5.2 years in 2021 to 3.4 years. This is mainly driven by the privatisation of the State Transit Authority where employees had higher tenure, and increased commencements in Transport for NSW with the new cohort reducing tenure to 3.7 years.

In other Crown services, median tenure decreased by 0.8 years, from 6.4 years in 2021 to 5.6 years in 2022. School Administrative and Support Staff was a leading contributor to this trend, with their median tenure decreasing 0.5 years to 4.5 years.

Table 8.2: Median tenure (years) of non-casual public sector employees, by service, 2022

Service Median tenure 2022 (years) Median tenure 2021 (years) Change in median tenure from 2022 (years)
Public Service 5.0 5.3 -0.3
NSW Health Service 7.4 7.9 -0.5
NSW Police Force 12.1 12.5 -0.4
Teaching Service 11.4 11.4 0.0
Transport Services 3.4 5.2 -1.8
Other Crown services 5.6 6.4 -0.8
Total government sector 7.4 8.0 -0.6
State owned corporations 10.6 10.8 -0.2
External to government sector 6.0 6.4 -0.4
Total public sector 7.4 8.1 -0.7


1 Recruitment data is collected from public sector agencies’ source systems where available. The main exclusions are the Health cluster, most of the former Industry cluster from 2018 to 2019, and most of the Transport cluster in 2021.

2 The average number of weeks from date of application to the date of hiring. Excludes requisitions with multiple openings, which can have extended advertisement periods.

3 Ibid.

4 Only includes occupations with more than 100 employees.