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Executive Summary

This report provides information about trends in the State sector workforce with a focus on the Public Service. The report is produced annually and looks at both annual and historical changes, as well as highlighting areas of focus for the State Services Commission (SSC). In the year to 30 June 2015:


45,348 FTE

Public Service staff numbers are similar to last year

Public Service FTEs increased slightly by 0.1% (or +68) to 45,348 in year to 30 June 2015. Over the same period, the size of the State sector increased by 0.6%, health sector by 2.4%, education sector by 3.0%, total public sector by 0.8% and the private sector by 3.4%.

There was little change in the regional distribution of Public Service employees in 2015. Wellington region remains the largest share (41.1% down slightly from 41.4% in 2014), followed by Auckland (20.2%), Canterbury (9.7%) and Waikato (8.4%).


Wages and

The average salary of Public Service employees has increased by 2.7%

The average salary in the Public Service has increased to $72,177, up from $70,248 last year. This movement is not a direct reflection of the salary increases staff receive, as it reflects overall changes in workforce structure and occupational mix, and the movement in staff pay due to both bargaining movements and pay progression.

In the year to June 2015, the Labour Cost Index (a measure of wage inflation controlling for both compositional and quality changes in the workforce) measured an increase in wages and salaries of 1.2% for the Public sector. Within the Public sector, the Public Service wage increased by 0.9%, the education sector by 0.8% and the health sector by 0.5%. In comparison, the private sector wage increased by 1.8% and 2.2% in local government.


payments totalled
$18.8 million

Redundancies continue to decrease

In the year to 30 June 2015, 380 employees in the Public Service were made redundant (down from 440 in 2014, and 696 in 2013). The total cost of redundancy decreased by 23.6% to $18.8 million (from $24.6 million in 2014).


Retention of
policy analysts

There is better retention of policy analyst graduates this year, compared to previous years.

The retention of policy analyst graduates employed in the Public Service is increasing. On average, around 73% of policy analyst graduates who began employment in the Public Service between 2012 and 2013 were still employed after two years, compared to a 54% retention after two years for those employed between 2010 and 2011.


Senior leadership

Mobility of senior leadership has increased

Mobility around the Public Service of tier 2 leaders has increased over the past five years – from 45% having been in the same position for at least three years in 2009 to 29% in 2014. There was also a doubling in the number of tier two leaders who were employed in another Public Service agency three years ago – from 11% in 2009 to 22% in 2014.


44.2% Women
in senior leadership

The number of women in management and senior leadership continues to increase

The proportion of women in the Public Service has continued to increase to 60.5%, compared with 47.0% in the overall New Zealand workforce.

There is increasing diversity at senior levels with the proportion of women in tiers 1, 2 and 3 rising from 39.6% in 2011 to 44.2% in 2015. If the trend of the last five years continues, the Public Service will reach 50% female representation in senior leadership by 2021.

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