Office for the Public Sector


Workforce Information

The size, structure and composition of the public sector workforce changes from year to year. This reflects changing community needs, government priorities, the economic environment and demographic trends.

To better understand the workforce, the Commissioner collects a comprehensive range of workforce data from all public sector agencies in South Australia under the authority of Section 19 of the Public Sector Act 2009. This information includes employment details (full-time, part-time or casual, classification, etc) and workforce demographics (age, gender and diversity).

The public sector uses this valuable information to plan for demographic changes (e.g. an ageing workforce), ensure the right skills are recruited and retained, and identify ways to make the public sector more productive and efficient.


Collating and transferring data

Section 19 of the Public Sector Act 2009 empowers the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment to obtain statistical data from public sector agencies.  A broad range of data is collected under this remit by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment as outlined in the Commissioner’s notice to agencies regarding statistical reporting requirements and as defined in the Human Resource Dataset: Data Definitions.

Agencies sign-off on the accuracy and completeness of all data submitted to and reported by the Commissioner.

For more information about Data Dashboards click here.

Workforce Information reports

Key findings

At June 2017, the South Australian Public Sector (including non-budget entities) employed 87,432 full time equivalent positions (FTEs) and 106,118 employees. This represents a net increase of 1,762 FTEs (2.1%) and 1,801 persons (1.7%) compared to June 2016 and includes a combination of frontline and back office staff.

Growth was observed in key areas of government services, including: education, health, child protection, police, corrections and transport, as forecast in the State Budget

The South Australian Public Sector represents 12.9% of total persons employed in SA (which is comparable with previous years). The employment market in SA grew at a higher rate than it has in recent years during 2016-17 (1.4%), the SA Public Sector grew at a slightly higher rate (2.1%).

83,006 FTEs (excluding the Judiciary) were in the General Government Sector, of those:

  • 42% were police, doctors, nurses and teachers.
  • 31% were in other front‑line or direct support roles, including fire fighters, ambulance officers, allied health professionals, school services officers, disability workers etc.
  • 27% were employed in policy or administrative roles.

Record increase in women in executive positions to 48.00%

A record percentage of 48.00% females in executive positions across the South Australian Public Sector has been reported in the 2017 Workforce Information Report. This is an increase of 0.97% from the 2016 report. The South Australian Government is continuing to work towards South Australia’s Strategic Plan Target 52 – to have women comprising half of the public sector employees in the executive levels.

Record increase in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander employment to 1.89%

An additional 163 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people started working within the South Australian Public Sector during 2016-17 – representing a new record of 1.89% of our workforce.

Trainee and graduate recruitment targets achieved – Jobs4Youth

Established in 2014, Jobs4Youth is a four-year program to help increase the employment of young South Australians. The program reached the 800 placement target in September 2017 ahead of schedule (March 2018).

Download the full report for 2017, or search below for full reports and topic specific information dating back to 1998.

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