A NSW Government website
Public Service Commission


Chapter 8

Number of openings


+12.9% vs 2022

Average time to hire

33.2 days

−5.5 days vs 2022

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 2023, 33,375 job advertisements were posted on I work for NSW, a 16.6% increase from the previous year. Over the same period, the number of job openings increased by 12.9% to 47,729 (see Figure 8.1). 

The highest number of openings in 2023 were in the job categories of Schools (10,880), Education and/or Training (6,791), Administration and Clerical (4,868), and Emergency Services (2,239). 

Average time to hire

33.2 days2

Filling of roles

The average time to hire continues a downward trend, decreasing by 5.5 days to 33.2 days in 2023 (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.


The commencement rate of non-casual public sector employees increased to 12.2% in 2023 (+1.2pp). This is the highest rate of employee commencements in agencies since 2007 (12.5%). 

While the separation and exit rates of non-casual public sector employees remain higher than in earlier years, there was a decrease in these rates from 2022 to 2023. The rate of employee separations from agencies decreased from 13.4% to 11.5%, and the rate of employee exits from the public sector decreased from 11.1% in 2022 to 9.2% in 2023.

Rates decreased across all services in 2023. The highest decrease in separation and exit rates was in the Transport Service (see Table 8.1), contrasting with the heightened level of separations and exits in 2022 due to the privatisation of the State Transit Authority and the large-scale reform in Transport for NSW. 

Table 8.1: Separations, exits and movement of non-casual public sector employees by service, 2023

Service Separation from agency (%) Exit from public sector (%) Movement within public sector (%)
Public Service 13.9 9.8 4.1
NSW Health Service 13.2 9.9 3.4
NSW Police Force 9.7 8.3 1.3
Teaching Service 7.3 7.3 0.0
Transport Service 12.5 8.4 4.0
Other Crown services 10.2 9.5 0.7
Total government sector 11.6 9.2 2.4
State owned corporations 9.9 9.8 0.1
External to government sector 10.6 8.9 1.7
Total public sector 11.5 9.2 2.4

Employees aged 65 and over accounted for 8.2% of overall separations, with a separation rate of 19.2% and an exit rate of 18.7%, which was mainly due to retirement (9.8%). 

In 2023, movements within the sector continued to display the same pattern as in 2022, with the highest rate being in the 25 to 29 age group and then progressively decreasing across the higher age ranges. 

Agency tenure

All employees

7.0 years

−1.9 years vs 2014

School Teachers

10.9 years

−2.5 years vs 2014


7.4 years

−1.7 years vs 2014


8.0 years

+0.7 years vs 2014


6.9 years

−1.9 years vs 2014

Police Officers

12.6 years

+1.8 years vs 2014

Note: Median tenure

In 2023, the median agency tenure of non-casual employees in the public sector decreased to its lowest level in the last decade. Median tenure has trended down to 7.0 years in 2023 (see Figure 8.3), a decrease of 0.4 years from 2022. This reflects the continuing high level of separations and exits across the sector relative to earlier years. The gap between male and female tenure was 0.5 years, a reduction of 0.2 years from 2022. The tenure for men reduced by 0.6 years to 7.4 years in 2023, and female tenure dropped by 0.4 years to 6.9 years. 

As in previous years, the services in the government sector with the longest median tenure were the NSW Police Force (12.4 years), the Teaching Service (11.2 years) and the NSW Health Service (7.4 years) (see Table 8.2). 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 2023 within the sector, decreasing from 3.4 years in 2022 to 3.2 years in 2023.

Table 8.2: Median tenure of non-casual public sector employees by service, years of tenure, 2022 to 2023

Service 2022 2023 Change
Public Service 5.0 4.7 −0.3
NSW Health Service 7.4 7.4 0.0
NSW Police Force 12.1 12.4 0.3
Teaching Service 11.4 11.2 −0.2
Transport Services 3.4 3.2 −0.3
Other Crown services 5.6 5.4 −0.3
Total government sector 7.4 7.0 −0.4
State owned corporations 10.6 8.7 −1.9
External to government sector 6.0 5.4 −0.5
Total public sector 7.4 7.0 −0.4


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

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, 2.

4 Only includes occupations with more than 100 employees.