The census period provides a snapshot in June each year that can be used to compare the size and composition of the sector. Census period full-time equivalent (FTE) employees increased by 1.0% (+3,427) in 2022, compared to 2021.
The occupations that contributed the most to the increase were Clerical and Administrative Workers (+1,295 FTE, 2.7%), Medical Practitioners (+484 FTE, 3.7%), School Support Staff (+458 FTE, 1.8%), Nurses (+438 FTE, 0.9%) and Ambulance Officers (+419 FTE, 8.8%).
The FTE increase in Clerical and Administrative Workers is mainly due to increases in Call or Contact Centre Operators (+990), primarily in Customer Service (+415). This reflects Services NSW’s role in the government’s response to the pandemic and floods. In Education, the apparent increase in Call or Contact Centre Operators in TAFE (+502 FTE) was a result of a restructure and updates to occupation coding1 for some roles.
There were notable increases in occupations directly responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The FTE increase in Medical Practitioners is mainly due to increases in Specialist Physicians (General Medicine) (+122 FTE) and various practitioners across the Health cluster. Similarly, the number of FTE nurses increased (+438 FTE) and Ambulance Officers increased (+419 FTE).
The increase in School Support Staff is mainly for Teachers’ Aides (+486 FTE) and Youth Workers (+167 FTE). The increase in School Support staff is largely due to an increase in temporary School Learning Support Officers, including Student Health roles, Youth Workers and Business Managers, in line with service delivery needs for NSW schools.
While bus drivers have been a key occupation in the public sector, with more than 2,600 FTE in 2021, the State Transit Authority was privatised in 2022, removing this cohort from the NSW Government workforce.
Table 4.1: Employment categories by service, annual FTE, 2022
|NSW Health Service
|NSW Police Force
|Other Crown Services
|Total government sector
|State owned corporations
|External to government sector
|Total public sector
Annual FTE generally provides a better measure of the balance between ongoing, temporary and casual employees, due to seasonal variations in resourcing requirements.
The largest proportion of public sector employees in 2022 were ongoing employees (74.8%). Temporary employees accounted for 17.4% of the public sector workforce, an increase of 0.3pp from the previous year. These 2 categories account for more than 9 in 10 public sector employees.
Annual FTE for ongoing employees increased by 5,429 across the public sector in 2022. The most significant growth was in the Public Service and NSW Health Service, with increases of 2,719 (5.1%) and 1,847 (1.9%), respectively.
Table 4.2: Comparison of public sector employment categories, annual FTE, 2021 to 2022
The annual FTE also increased for employees who were temporary (+2,732 FTE, 4.5%) and casual (+357 FTE, 2.1%) in 2022.
The largest increases were in the Health Service, with the number of temporary employees rising by 1,568 FTE (7.9%), including 913 additional Nursing Professionals and Medical Practitioners. The increase in their casual employees (+735 FTE, 9.9%) was mainly among General Clerks (+190 FTE, 25.9.%), and Midwifery and Nursing Professionals (+113 FTE, 15.4%).
Other contributors to the increase in temporary employment were an increase in temporary Education Aides in schools (+672 FTE, 94.1%) and an increase in temporary School Teachers (+257, 62.1%).