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Shape of the APS

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%.

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

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

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

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