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APS at a glance—All staff

At 30 June 2012 there were 168,580 staff in the APS. This total comprised:

  • 154,307 ongoing staff (up by 0.6% from 153,348 in June 2011)
  • 14,273 non-ongoing staff (up by 10.6% from 12,904 in June 2011)

During 2011–12:

  • 11,258 ongoing employees were engaged (down by 12.2% from 12,824 in 2010–11)
  • 10,213 ongoing employees separated from the APS (down by 2.2% from 10,448 in 2010–11)
  • 246 employees moved into coverage of the PS Act. , of these 87.0% (214) were ongoing staff

Figure 1: All staff by employment category, June 1998 to June 2012

Figure 1 shows the number of employees by employment category, at June each year from 1998 to 2012. Ongoing employee numbers are shown on the primary y axis and non-ongoing employee numbers are shown on the secondary y axis. Ongoing employee numbers fell at the beginning of the period, and then rose steadily from 1999. Non-ongoing employee numbers have varied over time. Despite a significant drop in 2004 and less significant drops in 2009 and 2011, non-ongoing employee numbers have increased from 1998 to 2012.

Source: Table 1

Size of the Australian Public Service

At June 2012 there were 168,580 staff employed in the Australian Public Service under the PS Act. This represented an increase of 2,328 or 1.4% from the June 2011 number of 166,252. Figure 1 shows ongoing and non-ongoing employee numbers from June 1998 to June 2012.

The number of ongoing employees went from 153,348 at June 2011 to 154,307 at June 2012, an increase of 959 or 0.6%. Excluding agencies affected by AAO changes, the largest increases in ongoing employee numbers were in Defence (1,060 or 4.9%), Immigration (438 or 6.0%) and AusAID (311 or 27.1%). The largest reductions in ongoing employee numbers were in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (142 or 2.9%) and ATO (78 or 0.4%).

During 2011–12, non-ongoing employment grew by 10.6%, from 12,904 at June 2011 to 14,273 at June 2012. Non-ongoing employees accounted for 8.5% of all employees at June 2012. The agencies with the largest number of non-ongoing employees were ATO (2,586), Human Services (1,475), AEC (1,120) and Immigration (776). Excluding agencies affected by AAO changes, the largest increases in non-ongoing employment were in the AEC (1,120 or 965.5%), Immigration (213 or 37.8%) and Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (167 or 51.7%). The number of non-ongoing employees fell in ABS (125 or 20.4%), Defence (124 or 19.5%) and ATO (120 or 4.4%).

Size of agencies

The 10 agencies listed in Table A accounted for over two-thirds of total APS staff (ongoing and non-ongoing) at June 2012. Due to machinery-of-government changes the ranking of the three largest agencies has changed for the first time in more than a decade. Centrelink and Medicare Australia were abolished as separate agencies and staff were moved to Human Services, increasing its size to 21.9% of the total APS (up from 3.9% in 2011). Human Services, ATO and Defence now account for just over half (50.4%) of the total APS staff.

Table A: 10 largest agencies (ongoing and non-ongoing employees), June 2012
Agency No. of employees at June 2012 % of total APS
Source: Table 2
Human Services 36,882 21.9
Australian Taxation Office 24,651 14.6
Defence 23,360 13.9
Immigration 8,554 5.1
Customs and Border Protection 5,786 3.4
Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry 5,239 3.1
Health & Ageing 5,015 3.0
DIISRTE 4,828 2.9
DEEWR 4,215 2.5
ABS 3,421 2.0
Total 121,951 72.3

Ongoing employees

Composition

At June 2012, ongoing employees accounted for 91.5% of the APS, a decrease from the previous year (92.2%).

At June 2012, 14.0% of ongoing employees were working part-time, up slightly from 13.8% in 2011. Women are much more likely to work part-time with 21.5% working part-time at June 2012 compared with 4.0% of men. Human Services accounted for 40.0% of ongoing part-time employees at June 2012, followed by ATO at 11.5%.

Classification

The following analysis refers to base classification, although temporary assignment is included for comparison in some instances.

The number of employees at the APS 1–2 classification group continued to fall from 4,829 at June 2011 to 4,457 at June 2012. This group accounted for 17.0% of ongoing staff at June 1998 and now represents just 2.9% of ongoing staff. The APS 3–4 classification group fell from 35.8% at June 1998 to 31.7% at June 2012, while the APS 5–6 classification group has grown steadily from 27.8% of ongoing staff at June 1998 to 35.2% at June 2012. Most of the growth in this group is due to the increase in the APS 6 classification level, 15.5% to 21.3% over the same period.

Representation of Executive Level (EL) employees has risen from 16.7% to 27.3% over the fifteen years from June 1998 to June 2012. Over the same period the size of the Senior Executive Service (SES) has fluctuated between 1.4% and 1.8% and is currently 1.8%.

The number of trainees grew, from 258 at June 2011 to 293 at June 2012 (up by 13.6%). Graduate trainees decreased from 1,554 at June 2011 to 1,355 at June 2012 (down by 12.8%). It should be noted that the number of graduate trainees does not represent the number of graduates recruited at all levels. During 2011–12, 72.8% of ongoing employees engaged had graduate qualifications.1

When looking at substantive or base classification the APS 6 classification level is the largest size category of employment in the APS with 21.3% of ongoing employees, followed by APS 4 (19.8%) and EL 1 (18.7%). Using temporary assignment, APS 6 is still the largest category of employment with 21.8% of ongoing employees, followed by EL 1 (19.6%), and APS 4 (18.1%).

At June 2012, there were 13,749 ongoing employees (8.9%) on temporary assignment to a different classification level. Nine of these ongoing employees were on temporary assignment as agency heads at June 2012.

Figure 2 shows the change in the proportion of employees in selected classifications over the last 15 years.

Figure 2: Ongoing employees by base classification group, June 1998 to June 2012

 Figure 2 shows the proportion of employees in selected classification groups, at June each year from 1998 to 2012. The strongest growth has been in the EL classifications, while the APS 1–2 classifications have decreased the most. The APS 3–4 classifications have steadily declined since 2003, and the APS 5–6 classifications have steadily increased since 1998. The SES classifications have remained relatively stable throughout this period. .

Source: Table 9

Senior Executive Service

At June 2012, there were 2,786 ongoing SES employees in the APS, up from 2,695 last year. The proportional increase in the size of the SES during 2011–12 (3.4%) was larger than the growth in the APS overall (0.6%).

The composition of the SES has generally remained stable over the last 15 years. At June 2012, SES Band 1 employees comprised just under three-quarters of the SES at 74.0%, with SES Band 2 at 21.2% and SES Band 3 at 4.8%.

The major change in the SES over the last 15 years has been the increase in the representation of women, from 21.9% at June 1998 to 39.2% at June 2012. Women’s representation increased at both SES Band 1 and 2 levels during 2011–12, however the SES Band 3 level decreased marginally to 28.1% (down from 29.0%).

Figure 3: Ongoing employees: representation of women in the SES (excluding temporary assignment), June 1998 to June 2012

Figure 3 shows the representation of women in the SES by band, at June each year from 1998 to 2012. It shows that representation is highest at Band 1, and lower at Band 2 and Band 3 respectively. For all bands, the representation of women has increased relatively steadily over the period. 

Source: Table 9

Age

The median age of ongoing APS employees at June 2012 was 42 years.

The number of ongoing employees in the under 25 age group fell from 6,029 to 5,587 during 2011–12. Over the 15 years to June 2012, this group’s representation has fallen from 4.5% to 3.6% of all ongoing employees.

The strongest growth in recent years has been in the representation of older age groups. Fifteen years ago, employees aged 55 years and over represented 5.9% of all employees. By June 2012, this had more than doubled to 14.8%.

Male and female employment

Over the past 15 years, women’s representation in the APS has increased from 48.6% to 57.3% of ongoing employees. In general, women are still employed at lower classification levels than men. Figure 4 shows the highest concentration of women at the APS 4 (24.1%) and APS 6 (20.4%) classification levels, while for men the highest concentration is at APS 6 (22.5%) and EL1 (22.2%) levels. The proportion of women at the EL2 classification level (6.1%) is about half that of men (11.9%), this trend continues through the SES Band classifications.

Figure 4: Ongoing employees: representation of men and women in selected classifications (excluding temporary assignment), June 2012

 Figure 4 shows the representation of men and women by classification at June 2012. It shows that women are more concentrated at lower classifications. The representation of women is highest at APS 4 and APS 6 levels respectively, while the representation of men is highest at APS 6 and EL 1 levels respectively.

Source: Table 9

Location

The proportion of ongoing staff in the ACT has increased from 38.9% at June 2011 to 40.8% at June 2012, continuing the steady rise that has been occurring for several years.

Table B shows the distribution of ongoing employees by location at June 2012.

Table B: Ongoing employees by location, June 2012
State/Territory No. of staff % of ongoing staff
Source: Table 26
Australian Capital Territory 62,989 40.8
New South Wales 27,431 17.8
Victoria 24,504 15.9
Queensland 16,262 10.5
South Australia 9,061 5.9
Western Australia 7,032 4.6
Tasmania 3,437 2.2
Northern Territory 2,249 1.5
Overseas 1,342 0.9
Total 154,307 100.0

Engagements

Over the 2011–12 financial year, there were 11,258 engagements of ongoing employees, down by 1,566 or 12.2% on the previous year. The agencies with the largest number of engagements were Defence (2,252), Human Services (1,248), ATO (890) and Immigration (671).

Women accounted for 54.5% of ongoing engagements during 2011–12. More than forty percent of engagements for women (40.1%) were at the APS 3–4 level; for men the proportion was 28.0%. Men continued to be engaged at EL levels at a higher rate (18.3%), while for women it was 12.0%.

Fifteen years ago, around one in five ongoing engagements (21.8% in 1997–98) were at the APS 1–2 level; by 2011–12 this had dropped to 5.8%. The APS 3–4 group has decreased from 36.7% to 34.6%, while APS 5–6 increased from 15.9% to 30.5% and EL from 6.6% to 14.9% of all ongoing engagements. Figure 5 shows the proportion of engagements by classification over the last 15 years.

Figure 5: Ongoing engagements: proportion in selected classifications, 1997–98 to 2011–12

Figure 5 shows the proportion of ongoing engagements in selected classifications, for each financial year from 1997–98 to 2011–12. It shows that engagements at APS 3–4 classifications have accounted for the largest proportion of engagements throughout the entire period, but have varied the most over time, from about one-third of all engagements up to more than half of all engagements. Engagements at the APS 1–2 classifications have steadily declined over time, while engagements at the APS 5–6 classifications and the EL classifications have steadily increased over time.

Source: Table 30

Separations

During 2011–12, there were 10,213 separations of ongoing employees, a decrease of 2.2% on the previous year (10,448). Trends in separations over time can be seen in Figure 6.

Figure 6: Ongoing employees: selected separations as a proportion of total separations, 1997–98 to 2011–12

Figure 6 shows resignations, age retirements and retrenchments as a proportion of all ongoing separations, for each financial year from 1997–98 to 2011–12. It shows that resignations accounted for over half of all separations during 2011–12, and have consistently accounted for over half of all separations since 2000–01. As a proportion of all separations, age retirements have increased steadily over time, to a proportion of almost one-fifth of all separations at 2011–12, and there has been an inverse relationship between resignations and retrenchments over the period.

Source: Table 44

The separation rate for ongoing employees was 6.6% during 2011–12. This value cannot be compared with a similar measure at agency level as the former does not take into account movements of employees between agencies. The agency retention rate in Table 14 or the agency exit rate in Table 61 should be used at agency level when assessing agency ‘turnover’.

Educational qualifications2

Of those ongoing employees who have supplied information about their educational qualifications, 58.5% have a bachelor degree or higher. Men are more likely than women to have graduate qualifications—62.7% compared with 55.1%. Indigenous employees (30.6%) are much less likely to have graduate qualifications and NESB 1 employees (81.1%) are much more likely to have such qualifications than the APS average. Those with a disability are somewhat less likely to have graduate qualifications (48.0%) compared with the APS overall.

Figure 7: Ongoing employees: EEO group by highest educational qualification, June 2012

Figure 7 shows the educational qualifications of Indigenous Australians, people with disability, and those from a non-English speaking background (NESB) at June 2012, and compares these groups with the APS average at June 2012. NESB employees are much more likely to have graduate qualifications (bachelor degree or higher) than other groups including the APS average, and the other diversity groups are less likely to have graduate qualifications than other groups including the APS average. 

Source: Table 58

1 The method used to calculate the proportion of employees with graduate qualifications includes those with qualifications at bachelor degree and above. It excludes from the denominator those for whom no data was provided by agencies, and those who chose not to provide details of their highest educational qualification.

2 The method used to calculate the proportion of employees with graduate qualifications includes those with qualifications at bachelor degree and above. It excludes from the denominator those for whom no data was provided by agencies, and those who chose not to provide details of their highest educational qualification.

Page ID: 9392

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