Executive Summary

This report provides a summary of workforce statistics on the Public Service 1 , as at 30 June 2009.  The report covers six main topics: staff numbers, recruitment and retention, pay and benefits, equality and diversity, and leave in the Public Service, and employment in the wider public sector.

In the last six months (1 January to 30 June 2009), the number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) employees in the Public Service decreased by 625 FTEs (1.4 percent).  In the previous six months (1 July to 31 December 2008), FTE numbers increased 1,728 FTEs (4.0 percent).  The change for the full 2008/09 year was an increase of 1,103, from 43,569 to 44,672 (2.5 percent).  The largest annual increase was for the Department of Corrections which employed an additional 311 FTEs.  Annual increases of more than 100 FTEs were recorded for the Inland Revenue Department (145), the Department of Internal Affairs (125), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (110).  Almost all of the growth in Public Service FTEs occurred in the first six months of the survey period which was before the cap on core government administration was in place.

Core unplanned turnover dropped from 15 percent to 11 percent.  This is the largest annual decrease since the HRC survey began in 2000.  Most of the decrease in turnover occurred in the six months between 1 January 2009 and 30 June 2009.  The occupation with the largest drop in turnover was public relations professionals.

While there has been a significant decrease in the overall turnover rate, there is still a wide variation in turnover rates by department (4.6 percent to 27.3 percent).  The overall decrease in core unplanned turnover was driven by decreases in 27 of the 35 departments.

There was also a significant decrease in recruitment for the year to 30 June 2009 as a result of a drop-off in numbers towards the end of the financial year.  There were 362 new recruits in the month of June 2009, just over half the number who started in the previous June.

Public servants are staying in their jobs for longer.  The average length of service across all permanent public servants has increased to 8.2 years, up from 8.0 years a year ago.  While this increase of just less than 3 months may seem small, it represents the largest annual increase in tenure since the survey began in 2000.

In the year to 30 June 2009, 301 employees in the Public Service were made redundant; an increase of 82 percent from 2008.  This is the highest number of redundancies since 2000, when 781 employees in the Public Service were made redundant.

The average base salary in the Public Service increased by 5.3 percent to $62,713 (from $59,532 in 2008).  This movement represents the real change in Public Service salaries and includes progression through salary bands, promotions, new appointees coming in at market rates, and compositional changes to the Public Service workforce.

A smaller increase of 3.5 percent was recorded in the Labour Cost Index for the Public Service (2.7 percent in the private sector).  The Labour Cost Index measures a fixed set of jobs and is adjusted to remove the impact of progression and promotion.  The Labour Cost Index data for the Public Service shows that most of the annual salary movement occurred between July and December 2008.

In the year to 30 June 2009, full time permanent employees took an average of 7.5 days of sick and domestic leave. This is the highest average number of days recorded since the data was first collected in 2003.

For the full report, go to the attached PDF file, at the top of this page.

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