Infographic: public servant pay more top-heavy than other countries

By David Donaldson

Tuesday August 12, 2014

Australia’s senior public servants are relatively well-paid compared to colleagues in other rich countries, according to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development data.

Senior managers do especially well: when compared to other countries on measures of purchasing power parity, Australia is third only to New Zealand and Italy.

Senior managers’ pay relative to other tertiary-educated people in the country also sees Australia coming third. Australian level 1 senior managers earn 4.8 times the average Australian tertiary-educated salary, while in NZ it’s 7.8 times.

When these numbers are compared to GDP per capita, however, Australia places closer to the OECD average — our relatively high per capita income tends to skew the raw numbers.

Indeed, relative to GDP, level 2 middle managers and secretarial positions come in under the OECD average, suggesting Australian public service pay is more top-heavy than other OECD states.

The data comes from the OECD’s Government at a Glance report and is based on 2011 figures.

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