The public sector employed around 414,000 people (headcount) in 2019, 18% of New Zealand’s total workforce (2,284,000), as measured by Stats NZ’s Business Demography data. The majority (88%) work in the State sector (364,000) and 12% in local government (50,000).

Over the last five years, the overall public sector workforce increased by 9.6% (with the State sector up 9.4% and local government up 11.5%). This compares with a 15% growth in the private sector over the same period.

The sector composition of workforce varies amongst the regions (see the interactive dashboard below).

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