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This release of APS employment data presents a statistical overview of the APS workforce employed under the Public Service Act 1999 (the PS Act) as at 30 June 2018. It provides a broad overview of key workforce metrics as at 30 June 2018 and trends from 2000, with relevant data tables referenced throughout. The full set of underlying tables is available within the Appendices, and as a downloadable spreadsheet.

This data release is a companion to the annual State of the Service Report (SOSR) which will be tabled in November 2018. The Australian Public Service Commissioner’s report on the State of the Service draws on a range of information sources, including annual APS agency and employee surveys, to provide a detailed picture of the State of the APS.

This current data release covers 97 agencies. Any agencies without APS staff at 30 June 2018 are excluded from reporting.

The Australian Public Service Employment Database

On 30 June and 31 December each year a ‘snapshot’ covering all APS employees is released by the APSC based on data provided by agencies.

APS employment data includes:

  • Demographic variables—including age, gender and work location;
  • Classification (level) of APS positions, from trainee to SES level;
  • Diversity data—voluntary items self-reported by APS staff including disability status, Indigenous status, and Non-English Speaking Background; and
  • Staff movements—including engagements, separations and transfers between agencies.

Employee numbers reported are a count of all people employed at the time of the ‘snapshot’. This count does not adjust for hours worked but it does include any employees who are on extended leave (for 3 months or more), including those on maternity leave and leave without pay.

These figures are different to Average Staffing Level (ASL) data provided in the Federal Budget papers. The ASL counts active staff for the time they work. This figure calculates staffing by allocating individual working hours based on the proportion of full time hours worked. For example, a full time employee is counted as 1 employee, while a part time employee who works three full days per week contributes 0.6. The ASL averages staffing over an annual period. It is not a point in time test.

The Government places a cap on ASL. This is applied across the General Government Sector (which incorporates all of the APS and a range of other government agencies). ASL caps are published in the Federal Budget Papers each year (for 2017–18 and 2018–19 ASL estimates, see Federal Budget Paper Number 4, 2018)

Another measure of employee numbers used by both private and public sector organisations is Full Time Equivalent (FTE) counts. This is a count of all active staff at a point in time.

For further details on APSED, including its scope, see APSC’s APSED page.

Interactive data—APSEDii

APSED data is also publicly available via a series of interactive dashboards called the APSED interactive interface (APSEDii). Links to the dashboards and detailed information about APSEDii can be found on APSC’s APSEDii page.


The APSC is committed to providing readers the information they require in the most useful format and reader feedback is welcome. Please e-mail: apsed [at] apsc.gov.au if you would like to provide any comments.

Last reviewed: 
16 April 2019