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Last updated: 30 Sep 2014

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APS at a glance

At 30 June 2014 there were 159,126 employees in the APS. This total comprised:

  • 145,891 ongoing employees (down by 4.1% from 152,189 in June 2013)
  • 13,235 non-ongoing employees (down by 10.9% from 14,862 in June 2013).

During 2013–14:

  • 4,672 ongoing employees were engaged (down by 38.9% from 7,652 in 2012–13)
  • 11,131 ongoing employees separated from the APS (up by 15.6% from 9,627 in 2012–13)
  • 224 employees moved into coverage of the PS Act (222 ongoing and 2 non-ongoing).

Figure 1: All employees: Employment category, June 2000 to June 2014

Figure 1 is a line graph that shows changes in the number of both ongoing and non-ongoing employees from 2000 to 2014. The ongoing line starts at 103000, peaks at around 154000 in 2012, and then reduces to about 146000 in 2014. The non-ongoing line starts at 10500, drops to 8900 in 2004, peaks at 14800 in 2013 and then drops to 13200 in 2014.

Source: Table 1

Size of the Australian Public Service

At June 2014 there were 159,126 employees employed in the APS under the PS Act. This represented a decrease of 7,925 or 4.7% from the June 2013 number of 167,051. Figure 1 shows ongoing and non-ongoing employee numbers from June 2000 to June 2014.

The number of ongoing employees changed from 152,189 at June 2013 to 145,891 at June 2014, a decrease of 6,298 or 4.1%. The largest increases in ongoing employee numbers were in Prime Minister and Cabinet* (1,567 or 210.9%), Social Services* (237 or 7.0%) and Infrastructure and Regional Development* (204 or 20.7%). The largest reductions in ongoing employee numbers were in Health* (1,459 or 30.5%), Human Services (1,450 or 4.3%) and the Australian Taxation Office (1,109 or 5.1%).

During 2013–14, the number of non-ongoing employees decreased by 10.9%, from 14,862 at June 2013 to 13,235 at June 2014. Non-ongoing employees accounted for 8.3% of all employees at June 2014. The largest increases in non-ongoing employment were in Human Services (402 or 20.6%), Prime Minister and Cabinet* (162 or 225.0%) and Attorney-General's (145 or 71.8%). The largest decreases in the number of non-ongoing employees were in the Australian Taxation Office (540 or 17.3%), Immigration and Border Protection (429 or 51.0%), and Health* (314 or 65.6%).

* These agencies' populations were affected by machinery-of-government changes. See Appendix 5 for details.

Size of agencies

The 10 agencies listed in Table A accounted for almost three-quarters of total APS employees (ongoing and non-ongoing) at June 2014. Human Services, the Australian Taxation Office and Defence account for almost half (49.8%) of total APS employees.

Table A: All employees: 10 largest agencies, June 2014
Agency No. of employees at June 2014 % of total APS
Source: Table 2
Human Services 34,757 21.8
Australian Taxation Office 23,259 14.6
Defence 21,163 13.3
Immigration and Border Protection 8,506 5.3
Customs and Border Protection 5,424 3.4
Industry 5,154 3.2
Foreign Affairs and Trade 4,958 3.1
Agriculture 4,644 2.9
Social Services 3,652 2.3
Health 3,487 2.2
Total 115,004 72.3

Coverage changes

During 2013–14, there were only a few coverage changes where employees were moved into or out of coverage of the PS Act.

Agencies established

One agency was established during the year:

  • Australian Aged Care Quality Agency, with 224 employees moving from the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency Pty Ltd.

Agencies abolished

Five agencies were abolished during the year:

  • AusAID, with employees transferred to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Federal Circuit Court, with employees transferred to Family Court and Federal Circuit Court
  • Department of Education, Employment, and Workplace Relations, with employees transferred to the Department of Education and the Department of Employment
  • Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, with employees transferred to the Department of Industry
  • Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport, with employees transferred to various agencies.

For further detail see Appendix 5.

APS employees

Figure 2 shows the change in total APS employee numbers for the past 20 years. The adjusted line takes account of coverage changes in the APS during each year, by adjusting total APS employee numbers by the number of employees performing those functions as the function moved into or out of coverage of the PS Act.

Figure 2: All employees: Numbers, June 1995 to June 2014

Figure 2 is a line graph showing the total number of A.P.S. employees between 1995 and 2014. Over the 20 year period, the number of employees fell from 149,000 in 1995 to the lowest point of 118000 in 1999. From 2000, A.P.S. employee numbers rose steadily with the highest point being 168000 in 2012. The number of A.P.S. employees at 30 June 2014 was 159126 which was a reduction of 7925 from 2013.

Source: APSED