ABS national overview of the public sector: ‘mild growth’ in wages and workforces

By The Mandarin

Thursday November 8, 2018

Nationwide, the public sector has seen mild growth in both wages and personnel over the past financial year, aggregated across all three tiers of government.

Australian Bureau of Statistics chief economist Bruce Hockman reports a 1.5% increase in the number of employees on public payrolls over the 2017-18 financial year, and 4% average growth in total cash wages and salaries.

The biggest growth pushing up the average has occurred in state government organisations with headcounts growing by 2% and pay rising by a healthy 4.7%, Hockman reports.

As of June this year, there were about 1.987 million public sector employees in Australia — 240,700 paid by the Commonwealth, 1,558,700 working for state governments and 187,600 working for local councils.

Overall, public sector employees earned a bit under $158.6 billion in the last financial year, mostly from state governments which had a total wages and salaries bill of more than $124.6 billion. The federal government covered just over $21bn in payroll and local governments shelled out just under $13bn.

Therefore, the average Australian public sector worker earns just under $80,000 in a year.

The data covers anything taxpayer-funded: Commonwealth, state, territory and local government agencies, public corporations, universities, non-profits controlled by governments, public sector marketing boards, legislative courts, municipal authorities and other statutory authorities.

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