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APS at a glance

At 30 June 2016 there were 155,771 employees in the APS. This represented an increase of 3,518 or 2.3% from the June 2015 number of 152,253. The total at 30 June 2016 comprised:

  • 137,848 ongoing employees—up by 1.0% from 136,524 at June 2015
  • 17,923 non-ongoing employees—up by 13.9% from 15,729 at June 2015.

During 2015–16:

  • 11,005 ongoing employees were engaged—up by 362.4% from 2,380 in 2014–15, including 727 employees who moved into coverage of the PS Act
  • 9,759 ongoing employees separated—down by 8.5% from 10,662 in 2014–15, including 299 employees who moved out of coverage of the PS Act.

Coverage changes

It is necessary to adjust for changes in coverage when comparing data with previous years' data and calculating changes for the APS. Refer to Appendix 3 for the number of employees who moved into or out of coverage of the PS Act over the past 15 years.

During 2015–16:

Agencies established:

  • The Digital Transformation Office in July 2015.

Agencies merged:

  • PHIO into the Commonwealth Ombudsman in July 2015
  • MRT–RRT into the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in July 2015
  • TUSMA into the Department of Communications and the Arts in July 2015
  • Customs into the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in July 2015
  • Australian Institute of Criminology into the Australian Crime Commission in October 2015

PS Act coverage changes include:

  • 647 ongoing employees from Australian Government Solicitor moved into the Attorney General's Department
  • 80 ongoing employees from the NSW and QLD State Government moved into the National Disability Insurance Agency
  • 299 ongoing employees moved out of coverage, from ComSuper into the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation.

Size of agencies

The number of ongoing employees increased from 136,524 at June 2015 to 137,848 at June 2016, an increase of 1,324 or 1.0%.
The largest increases in ongoing employee numbers were in:

  • Immigration and Border Protection—5,776 or 74.7%
  • Health—1,379 or 42.1%
  • Human Services—537 or 1.7%

The largest decreases in ongoing employee numbers were in:

  • Defence—1,408 or 7.1%
  • Social Services—1,402 or 38.6%
  • Australian Taxation Office—682 or 3.7%

The number of non-ongoing employees increased by 13.9%, from 15,729 at June 2015 to 17,923 at June 2016. Non-ongoing employees accounted for 11.5% of all employees at June 2016.
The largest increases in non-ongoing employee numbers were in:

  • Human Services—1,176 or 31.2%
  • Australian Electoral Commission—590 or 73.8%
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics—528 or 156.2%

The largest decreases in the number of non-ongoing employees were in:

  • Australian Taxation Office—181 or 6.1%
  • Attorney-General's —122 or 25.2%
  • Defence Housing Australia—114 or 58.5%

The 10 agencies listed in Table A accounted for almost three-quarters of all APS employees at June 2016. Human Services, the Australian Taxation Office and Defence account for almost half, or 48.5%, of all APS employees.

Table A: All employees: 10 largest agencies, June 2016
Agency No. of employees at June 2016 % of total APS
Source: Table 3
Human Services 36,571 23.5
Australian Taxation Office 20,384 13.1
Defence 18,567 11.9
Immigration and Border Protection 14,271 9.2
Health 5,075 3.3
Agriculture and Water Resources 5,034 3.2
Industry, Innovation and Science 4,716 3.0
Foreign Affairs and Trade 3,813 2.4
Australian Bureau of Statistics 3,571 2.3
Environment 2,452 1.6
Total 114,454 73.5