State of the service

APS employee headcount

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The structure of Australian Public Service employment is continuing to change. As a result, the composition of the workforce is changing. This ensures that the APS continues to have the capability to deliver the government’s policy agenda in the most efficient and effective manner.

At 30 June 2015 there were 152,430 people employed in the APS. This is a decrease of 3.5% from June 2014. The proportion of non-ongoing employees is the highest it has been in the past 15 years. The total number of employees in the APS is the lowest since 2006.

  • “The total number of employees in the APS is the lowest since 2006”

Figure 1.

Ongoing and all APS employees

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Number

June

Figure 1 is a line graph that shows changes in the number of ongoing and non-ongoing employees from June 2001 to June 2015. The ongoing line starts at 108663, peaks at 153464 in 2012, and then reduces to 136498 in 2015. The total (non-ongoing and non-ongoing) line follows the same pattern as the ongoing line: starting at 119458 and peaks at 167339 in 2012, and then reduces to 152430 in 2015.

Figure 2.

Non-ongoing APS employees

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Number

June

Figure 2 is a line graph that shows changes in the number of non-ongoing employees from June 2001 to June 2015. The non-ongoing line starts at 10795, drops to 8942 in 2004, and peaks at 15932 in 2015.

The decrease in APS employees is due to fewer engagements rather than more employees separating from the APS. For the past 11 years the number of separations of ongoing employees each year has been around 10,000, with 10,612 ongoing employees separating from the APS in 2014–15. There were 2,349 ongoing engagements during the 2014–15 financial year. In a tight fiscal environment, targeted employment management is crucial for maintaining capability in key areas.

Figure 3.

Ongoing employees: Engagements and Separations

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Number

Year ending June

Figure 3 is a line graph showing two lines, one is the number of engagements from 2001 to 2015, the other is the number of separations. It shows the number of engagements in 2001 was 13791. Engagements peaked at 20950 in 2006, and decreased to 2349 in 2015. In comparison, the number of separations have been relatively steady. The lowest number of separations was 7193 in 2003, and the highest was 12282 in 2008. In 2015 the number of separations was 10612.

APS headcount over the last 15 years has shown consistent trends in terms of increases and decreases by classification. There has been a decline in the number of staff at the lower APS levels. There is a corresponding increase in headcount for higher APS levels and executive level staff. The change in classification profile has been influenced by a number of factors. These include increasing role complexity, technological changes and the impact of the automation and outsourcing of functions once performed by lower-level staff.

Figure 4.

Proportion of APS headcount by classification

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Per cent of workforce

Trend

Figure 4 is a line graph showing employee headcount the past 15 years by classification group. It shows a trend of APS 5 to 6 and EL classification groups increasing steadily from 31% and 19% in 2001 to 37% and 26% in 2015 respectively. The APS 1 to 2 and the APS 5 to 6 classification groups have decreased from 9% and 39% in 2001 to 3% and 32% in 2015 respectively. SES have only slightly increased from 1% in 2001 to 2% in 2015

Read the State of the Service Report 2014–15 on the APSC website.