Shape of the APS

Last updated: 26 Sep 2017

This page is: current

Over the last decade the APS has experienced structural and demographic changes in areas such as employees working part-time, the number of employees at lower classification levels and the age profile of the workforce.

At 30 June 2017:

  • 16% of employees worked on a part-time basis. This proportion has steadily increased from 12% in June 2007.
  • The number of employees in the APS 1-3 classification was 17%, down from 24% in 2007
  • The age profile of the APS is shifting with the proportion of APS employees over 50 increasing to 32% and those under 30 decreasing to 13%.

Part time workers 2017 compared to 2007Employees in the APS 1 to 3 classification 2017 compared to 2007Employees over 50 2017 compared to 2007

Hours worked

Part-time workers are defined as APS employees, excluding casuals or those employed on an intermittent basis, who regularly work fewer than 35 hours each week.

At 30 June 2017, 16% of employees worked on a part-time basis. This proportion has steadily increased from 12% in June 2007. Women (23.7%) were more likely than men (4.7%) to be working on a part-time basis. See Chapter 5 for a more detailed discussion of gender differences across the APS.

Figure 3.1: Percentage and number of employees working part-time in the APS, June 2007 to June 2017

Line graph showing the number and percentage of staff working part time over the last decade

Source: APS Statistical Bulletin 2016-17 – data tables, Table 1b

Classification structures

To allow comparisons over time, analysis in this Bulletin uses substantive or base classification, excluding employees on temporary assignment at a classification different to their base classification.

At 30 June 2017, the most common classification across the APS was APS6 (22%). This has grown from 18% in 2002, overtaking the APS4 category which fell from 25% to 19%. The EL1 classification has grown from 12% to 17%, and EL2s from 6.3% to 7.7%.

Figure 3.2: Classification levels across the APS workforce, June 2002, 2007, 2012 and 2017

Series of stacked bar graphs showing the percentage of staff in each classification level in 5 year increments

Source: APS Statistical Bulletin 2016-17 – data  tables, Table 5

Age profile

In line with the Australian population and its workforce, the APS workforce is ageing (Figure 3.3).

Since 30 June 2002:

  • The proportion of APS employees aged 50 and over has increased from 21% to 32% in 2017.
  • The under 30 age group has decreased in parallel with increases in employees over 50 and is now 13%, down from 18%.
  • Over the same period, the average age of the APS workforce has risen by more than 3 years, from 40.2 to 43.3.

Figure 3.3: Headcount by age group and average age by year, June 2002 to June 2017

Line graph showing the percentage of staff in each age group for the last 15 years with supporting table underneath showing average age of staff

Source: APS Statistical Bulletin 2016-17 – data  tables, Tables 27 and 65