APS Statistical Bulletin: December 2016

Last updated: 31 Mar 2017

This page is: current

Introduction

These tables present a summary of employment under the Public Service Act 1999 at 31 December 2016 and during the 2016 calendar year.

The data in these tables is sourced from the APS Employment Database (APSED), which contains data extracted from agencies' HR systems. The Australian Public Service Commission continues to work with agencies to improve the quality and timeliness of the data they provide to APSED. Each year, extensive audits and error checking of APSED are undertaken, to ensure that sound conclusions can be drawn from the data. Through this audit process, previously published data has been updated. The June 2016 data published in the State of the Service Report and the Bulletin has been revised.

As in the Bulletin, a headcount approach is used in these tables—that is, people working part-time are aggregated with people working full-time without weighting. Data also includes inoperative employees. Employees' classification in these tables refers to their base or substantive classification, unless labelled otherwise.

APS at a glance—December 2016

At 31 December 2016 there were 153,421 employees in the APS, a decrease of 2,237 or 1.4% from the June 2016 figure of 155,658.

Total APS employees comprised:

  • 136,898 ongoing employees—a decrease of 0.7% from 137,866 in June 2016
  • 16,523 non-ongoing employees—a decrease of 7.1% from 17,792 in June 2016

During 2016:

  • 11,192 ongoing employees were engaged to the APS—up by 91.8% from 5,836 in 2015. This includes 164 employees who moved into coverage of the PS Act.
  • 9,883 ongoing employees separated from the APS—up by 11.9% from 8,833 in 2015.

Figure 1: All employees by employment category, June 2007 to December 2016

Chart showing changes in numbers of employees between 2007 and 2016

Changes to gender reporting

As per the Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender, collection of data on gender X (Indeterminate/Intersex/Unspecified) commenced on 1 July 2016.

The number of current employees who identify as gender 'X' is likely to be underrepresented, due to the recent implementation of the guidelines, and employees having to initiate the amendment to their gender in their personal record.

The gender tables in this snapshot are only broken down by males and females due to the small number of employees identified as gender 'X'. The tables for 'total number of employees' include gender 'X', which explains why the total numbers are often higher than the male and female figures combined.

The table below shows the full gender breakdown as at 31 December 2016.

All employees: by gender, 31 December 2016

Gender 2016
Men 62897
Women 90517
X - Indeterminate 7
Total 153421

Tables

Download MS excel version of tables 

All employees

Non ongoing employees

Ongoing employees

Movements

Diversity

Appendix 1: Explanatory notes

Agencies

The organisations separately identified in this publication are based on the publication APS Agencies, which is available on the Commission's website at www.apsc.gov.au/publications-and-media/current-publications/australian-public-service-agencies. Due to their small size some organisations are not separately identified in the tables. Please see Appendix 4 for details.

Calculation of yearly APS change

From time to time, the number of employees covered by the PS Act is affected by changes in administrative arrangements when agencies move into or out of coverage of the PS Act. It is necessary to adjust for changes in coverage when comparing the data with previous years' data and calculating changes for the APS. Please see Appendix 2 for details.

Classification

The classifications used are those classifications listed in the Public Service Classification Rules 2000 (the Classification Rules).
Data generally refers to the base (substantive) classification, except those tables where temporary assignment or paid classification is used.

  • SES includes Senior Executive Service (SES) Bands 1, 2 and 3 and SES Specialist Bands 1, 2 and 3. It also includes employees grouped with the equivalent SES Bands under the Classification Rules.
  • EL classifications include Executive Levels 1 and 2. It also includes employees grouped with the equivalent Executive Levels under the Classification Rules.
  • APS classifications include employees at the APS 1 to 6 levels. It also includes employees grouped with the equivalent APS levels under the Classification Rules.
  • Trainee includes cadets, trainees and apprentices (but not Graduate APS, even though this is a training classification under the Classification Rules).
  • Graduate refers only to those employees in a specific graduate program.

Engagement

An engagement refers to the engagement or re-engagement of employees under s. 22 of the PS Act. Employees of agencies moving into coverage of the PS Act under s. 72 are counted as engagements.

Exit rate

Is calculated as the number of separations from an agency (i.e. employees leaving the APS) plus the number of transfers and promotions out of the agency during the reporting period, divided by the average number of employees at the beginning and end of the reporting period. It refers to ongoing employees only.

Full-time/Part-time/Casual

The full-time and part-time employment status categories used in this publication refer to the number of hours worked. Full-time employees are defined as those who ordinarily work 35 hours or more per week. Employees working fewer than 35 hours per week are defined as working part-time. This definition is based on that used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in their Australian Labour Market Statistics publication (catalogue no. 6105.0).

Casual employees are those employed under s. 22(2)(c) of the PS Act for duties that are irregular or intermittent.

Highest educational qualification

Data reported is the highest qualification that the employee has reported to their agency. The full list of qualification categories is shown in the APS Employment Database Manual (Version 4.2), available on the Commission's website.

Length of service

Length of service is based on an employee's combined periods of service. Where possible, an individual's separate periods of services have been linked by matching date of birth, gender, first name (first four letters) and surname. The length of these periods of service is combined. For example, an individual who had five years of service, left the APS for two years and then returned for seven years would have a total length of service of 12 years. Previously, this individual would have been recorded as having seven years of service if they had changed Australian Government Staff Number (AGSN). Using this method it is possible to determine an individual's prior service in the APS.

Non-ongoing service is included in this calculation only where the service is on APSED; the collection of data for non-ongoing employees on APSED commenced in July 1999. Service in an agency is only included in the period that the agency was covered under the PS Act or the Public Service Act 1922 (the PS Act 1922). When an agency moves out of coverage of either of these Acts, accumulation of service ceases until the individual re-joins the APS.

Maternity-related leave

Maternity related leave should not be confused with leave under the provisions of the Maternity Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1973. APSED measures the amount of time spent away from work due to having a baby. It records the date the employee commences leave and the date the employee returns to work, irrespective of the type of leave taken during this period. For further details see the APS Employment Database Manual (Version 4.2) available on the Commission's website.

Mobility rate

Is calculated as the number of transfers and promotions (s. 26 of the PS Act) between APS agencies over a financial year, divided by the average number of ongoing employees over that period.

NESB

In the absence of alternative measures, the concept 'NESB', representing people from a non-English speaking background, is used with APSED. This captures information about first language spoken, place of birth and parents' language. NESB 1 refers to people born overseas who arrived in Australia after the age of five and whose first language was not English. NESB 2 refers to children of migrants including:

  • those who were born overseas and arrived in Australia when they were aged five or younger but did not speak English as a first language;
  • those who were Australian born but did not speak English as a first language and had at least one parent who did not speak English as a first language;
  • and those who spoke English as a first language and had neither parent speaking English as a first language.

Number of agencies worked in

Number of agencies worked in is based on an employee's combined periods of service. Movements due to machinery of government changes are not counted.

Ongoing/Non-ongoing

'Ongoing' refers to the employment of an APS employee as mentioned in s. 22(2)(a) of the PS Act. The employee is referred to as an ongoing employee.

'Non-ongoing' is a generic term which refers to the engagement of APS employees for either a specified term or for the duration of a specified task or for duties that are irregular or intermittent as mentioned in ss. 22(2)(b) and (c) of the PS Act. A person engaged on a non-ongoing basis is referred to as a non-ongoing employee.

Operative/Inoperative status

Employees who are inoperative are those on mandatory or discretionary leave without pay, or compensation leave. Maternity leave is not included. For further details see the APS Employment Database Manual (Version 4.2) available on the Commission's website.

Promotions

Promotions are ongoing assignments to a higher APS classification level, either within or between APS agencies. Promotions do not include advancements within a broadband to a higher classification level.

Retention rate

Is calculated as the number of individual ongoing employees who are employed both at the beginning and end of the reporting period, divided by the number of employees at the start of the reporting period.

Separation

A separation occurs when an employee ceases to be employed under the PS Act. It does not refer to employees moving from one APS agency to another. The terms used are:

  • Resignation
  • Age retirement (s. 30 of the PS Act) , which includes:
    • resignations at age 55 and above
  • Retrenchment, which includes:
    • employee excess to the requirements of the agency (s. 29(3)(a))
    • SES incentive to retire (s. 37)
  • Physical or mental incapacity (s. 29(3)(d))
  • Terminations of employment, which includes:
    • inappropriately qualified (s. 29(3)(b))
    • underperformance (s. 29(3)(c))
    • non-completion of entry level training (s. 29(3)(e))
    • breach of engagement condition (s. 29(3)(f))
    • misconduct (s. 29(3)(g))
  • Compulsory move to non-APS agency by determination made by the Public Service Commissioner under s. 72(1)(b)
  • Deceased

Separation rate

Is calculated as the number of ongoing separations from the APS over a reporting period, divided by the average number of ongoing employees over that period.

Symbols and other initials

. zero value

* data has been confidentialised

(NC) Not Current—agency is no longer under coverage of the PS Act, or its functions were part of another agency, at the date of effect

Transfers

For the purpose of reporting, transfers are ongoing movements between agencies, either at the same classification level or to a lower classification level.

Appendix 2: Changes to Administrative Arrangements, July to December 2016

Movements into coverage of the PS Act

Date Agency Ongoing employees Non-ongoing employees Change
28/07/2016 National Disability Insurance Agency 1 0 National Disability Scheme
11/8/2016 National Disability Insurance Agency 1 0 National Disability Scheme
25/8/2016 National Disability Insurance Agency 11 0 National Disability Scheme
8/9/2016 National Disability Insurance Agency 1 0 National Disability Scheme
28/9/2016 National Disability Insurance Agency 1 0 National Disability Scheme
6/10/2016 National Disability Insurance Agency 6 0 National Disability Scheme
10/10/2016 National Disability Insurance Agency 1 0 National Disability Scheme
1/12/2016 National Disability Insurance Agency 45 0 National Disability Scheme
5/12/2016 National Disability Insurance Agency 1 0 National Disability Scheme

Machinery of Government changes between agencies

Date Agency moved from Agency moved to Ongoing employees Non-ongoing employees Change
1/07/2016 CrimTrac Agency Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) 226 4 All CrimTrac functions to ACIC
1/7/2016 Independent Hospital Pricing Authority Health 40 15 Operational staff moved to Health as part of a rationalisation of regulatory health agencies
22/9/2016 Industry, Innovation and Science Environment and Energy 211 7 National energy policy
11/10/2016 Industry, Innovation and Science Environment and Energy 1 0 National energy policy
3/11/2016 Human Services Australian Taxation Office 6 0 Small Business Superannuation Clearing House
1/12/2016 Human Services Digital Transformation Agency 1 0 MyGov policy
1/12/2016 Education and Training Finance 43 2 Movement of Shared Services Centre
1/12/2016 Education and Training Employment 156 7 Movement of Shared Services Centre
1/12/2016 Employment Finance 41 4 Movement of Shared Services Centre
1/12/2016 Employment Education and Training 17 3 Movement of Shared Services Centre
5/12/2016 Human Services Australian Taxation Office 7 0 Small Business Superannuation Clearing House
12/12/2016 Human Services Australian Taxation Office 6 0 Small Business Superannuation Clearing House
15/12/2016 Finance Digital Transformation Agency 35 0 Whole of government information and communication technology, and procurement policy and services.

Appendix 3: Abbreviations

ACCC
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

ACIAR
Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research

ACLEI
Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity

ACMA
Australian Communications and Media Authority

ACSQHC
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

Agriculture
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources

AIATSIS
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Studies

ANAO
Australian National Audit Office

APVMA
Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority

ARPANSA
Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency

ASIC
Australian Securities and Investments Commission

AUSTRAC
Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre

Austrade
Australian Trade Commission

Commonwealth DPP
Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

Communications
Department of Communications and the Arts

Defence
Department of Defence

Education and Training
Department of Education and Training

Employment
Department of Employment

Environment
Department of the Environment and Energy

Finance
Department of Finance

Foreign Affairs and Trade
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

FSANZ
Food Standards Australia New Zealand

GBRMPA
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

Health
Department of Health

Human Services
Department of Human Services

Immigration and Border Protection
Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Industry, Innovation and Science
Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

Infrastructure and Regional Development
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

NHMRC
National Health and Medical Research Council

NOPSEMA
National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority

OAIC
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

OFWBII
Office of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate

OIGIS
Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security

Prime Minister & Cabinet
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Social Services
Department of Social Services

TEQSA
Tertiary Education and Quality Standards Agency

Treasury
Department of the Treasury

Veterans' Affairs
Department of Veterans' Affairs

Appendix 4: Organisations not separately identified in tables

Employees of indented organisations are included in the employment numbers of their portfolio Department.

Attorney-Generals

  • Australian Government Solicitor

Environment

  • Australian Antarctic Division

Health

  • Therapeutic Goods Administration
  • OGTR & NICNAS

Industry

  • Australian Renewable Energy Agency
  • Geoscience Australia
  • IP Australia
  • Questacon—National Science and Technology Centre

Treasury

  • Australian Office of Financial Management
  • Commonwealth Grants Commission
  • Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee
  • Office of the Inspector-General of Taxation
  • Royal Australian Mint