http://www.psa.labor.net.au/about/public_employment.html

Public sector employment


In 1995 there were 1.58 million civilian government employees, down from 1.72 million in 1986, making up about 26 per cent of the total work force (31% in 1986).

Public Sector Employment

In 1995 there were 1.58 million civilian government employees, down from 1.72 million in 1986, making up about 26 per cent of the total work force (31% in 1986).

They ranged from postal workers, railway staffs, teachers, police, numerous professional workers such as engineers, lawyers, architects, research scientists, town planners, social workers, computer experts, and so on.

Only a small percentage were engaged in the clerical-administrative work popularly associated with the term "public servant".

Factors contributing to the reduction in employment have been technological change (eg replacement public transport ticket sellers by vending machines), privatisation (sales of state banks and insurance companies), contracting out (eg of cleaning services) and cost cutting and service reduction.

Public Employment by Government, 1995




Australian Government

362,000


Australian Defence Forces

62,000


New South Wales

344,000


Victoria

239,000


Queensland

191,000


South Australia

96,000


Western Australia

122,000


Tasmania

44,000


Northern Territory

16,000


Australian Capital Territory

19,000


Local Government (Australia-wide)

155,000

The figures include full time, part time, temporary and casual employees. (Adapted from ABS Employed Wage and Salary Earners Australia, March Quarter 1995, Cat No 6248.0)

Functions of Government

The Government sector can be divided into public trading enterprises, statutory authorities, and the public services.

About 20 per cent of government employees are engaged in trading enterprises such as Telstra, Qantas, electricity commissions, water boards, ports and public transport.

In the States, health and education are the biggest employers, accounting for about a third each of employees funded from the budget.

Other large statutory employers are police and road construction authorities.

The remaining sector is the public service -- that is, the departments and small agencies.

New South Wales employment breakdown

Public Trading enterprises

42,300

Health

79,500

Education (Schools & TAFE)

65,600

Police

16,500

Roads and Traffic Authority

6,900

Departments and smaller


statutory authorities

68,800


279,600

(Note: These figures are full time equivalents, not actual persons as used in the ABS figures.)

Young employees

The public sector was once a large employer of young people. That has changed. A 1990 survey of the NSW public sector showed only 3,478 people aged 19 or under, and only 16,193 in the 20-24 age group, out of 237,000 employees surveyed.

Women

In NSW (1990 figures) women held 32 per cent of full-time permanent positions and 84 per cent of part time permanent positions. Women dominate the casual and temporary positions (67%). 40 per cent of all employees are women.

(In the Australian Public Service, the percentage of women in permanent posts rose from 5 per cent in 1960 to 48 per cent in 1993.)

Ethnic minorities

In NSW the proportion of senior officers who were born overseas and are members of an ethnic minority is now approaching this figure for the community as a whole.


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http://www.psa.labor.net.au/decisions/1154053913_18770.html

2005 NSW Workforce Profile – Highlights from the Report

Central Council, 19 June 2006

Decision

Report adopted


Report

The annual public sector employment profile for June 2005 has just been released by the Public Employment Office. The 2005 Overview is the seventh publication in the series. There has always been a significant time lag between the date of publication and the end of June annual reporting period, but it has improved.

Comparison between the series of reports must be qualified in recognition of the fact that the basis of collection, the categories reported on and method of calculation has changed from year to year. In demonstrating employment trends at the macro-level it does provide a good overview of the broad trends. Some of the highlights are reported below.

Historical public sector employment

FTE = full time equivalent

Year ending June

FTE
Year Average

FTE
as at June

Total P.S. employees
as at June

Proportion of the
NSW labour force

1999

N/A

272,863

330,380

11.3%

2000

N/A

270,688

324,345

11.7%

2001

283,099

N/A

336,251

10.98%

2002

284,610

282,896

339,372

10.92%

2003

283,689

291,264

343,847

10.3%

2004

288,393

291,701

356,598

10.6%

2005

292,573

294,376

360,880

10.5%

The figures in the above table have been taken from the series of Overview Reports. It shows the total employment figure is overall pretty steady The Full Time Employment total for 2005 (294,376) represents an overall increase of 0.9% from the 2004 EFT total (291,701).

Whilst total employment has marginally risen over seven years, public sector employment as a proportion of the total NSW labour force has continued to drop: 11.3% in 1999 : 10.5% in 2005.

The Macro trends

Also, although 5,000 job cuts were announced by the Premier and Finance Minister in February, these are targeted at "back-office-jobs". The 2005 Overview reports the macro trends in the reporting period June 2004 - June 2005 in the following extract (Box). It is clear from this information that the cuts are selective and some areas of the public sector, such as Health and Education actually sustained marginal increases. What is also notable is that there were reported to be quite large increases in the "non-budget dependent" sector, those areas that fall outside the Budget.

Lastly, the public sector is now almost 60% female.

Employment Status

The 2005 Overview reported that as at June 2005 the following employment categories were represented across the public sector:

80.7%

Permanent

9.2%

Temporary

7.8%

Casual

Gender Pay Gap

The following Table is constructed from the 1999-2005 series where comparable information has been reported

Average full time remuneration rate for women as a percentage of average full time remuneration rate for men

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

N/A

89

87.6

87.33

88.6

89.2

89.5

In 2005 therefore the "average remuneration for females was 89.5% of the average for males." In other words "the gap" has marginally narrowed from the previous year.

Other indices are provided in the area of female employment, which indicate that proportionally women are much, more likely to be represented in part time and temporary work, and the lower pay scales.

The Ageing Workforce

The 2005 Overview reports the continuing trend of the ageing workforce. The following Table has been directly downloaded from the overview Report.

The average age in the NSW public sector was 43 years and the median was 44 years. Very low rates of permanency are in evidence for the <25 YO age group. Nearly one third of the workforce is aged 45-54 years.

EEO Trends

For the first time the Overview Report has incorporated EEO statistics which have not been reported for some time. In brief the proportional representation of the following groups is reported:

1.9%

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander

14.1%

Racial, Ethnic, Ethno-Religious Minority Groups

4.6%

People with a Disability


Contact Details
Gwenda Happ, Senior Industrial Officer (Research)
Ph: 02 9220 0911