Public servants drive employment and wage growth

The ABS has released data on employment and earnings across the public service, which reveals that the number of Australians working across the public service increased by 3.0% between June 2018 and June 2019, with aggregate cash wages and salaries rising by 5.2% over the same period:

As shown above, the number of Australians working in the public service exceeded 2 million people for the first time, with most these working across state & territory governments, as well as across public administration, health and education:

Leith van Onselen
Latest posts by Leith van Onselen (see all)


      • Any jobs going where you are? I’m desperate to get in. A Govt job is the ticket to ride these days. Gold-plated everything – you just need to put up with dysfunctional organisation and handful of dodgy colleagues and it’s plain sailing from there.

        • sadly nothing permanent, govt emp cap and reduced funding has curtailed that. usually there is temp work going on and you might be able to hop from activity to activity for a while until permanent offers come up but its fairly competitive and not often and this is just for the perth office im at, no idea on the situation for the other offices.

          • Sounds about right. I have a mate here in Brisvegas who is on a contract and hoping to go permanent.

        • HadronCollisionMEMBER

          Because private organisations are entirely functional. Guffaw. I like your stuff but you’re just ideology forcing.

          I work in health and work with unbelievably capable, hardworking and dedicated people.

          Saving lives homeboy, saving lives.

          • No ideology here – just commonsense. A non-profit organisation has no incentive to run efficiently or to ensure its staff are top notch. A private business is forced to run efficiently … or die. That’s some incentive.

            I never once said that 100% of staff in the public sector are dweebs – I know plenty of good people who work in the PS but those same people are the source of all the eye-watering stories of dysfunction, waste and worse-than-useless staff. All I’m pointing out is that there is much more dead wood in the public sector than there is in the private — by default.

    • Jackie Trad is a ‘servant’ of sorts – she serves herself all the time: generally large profits on the back of inside information. She says (privately) it’s a perk of the job.

  1. Indians were taking jobs in the ATO in 2003.

    Non-citizens are now taking jobs at government-funded train stations and the government-funded NBN.

    Jobs and growth for foreigners.

    • That’s the model, and I’ve noticed Indians employ other Indians. Maybe they pay the boss a kickback? But once they get a toehold they’re gonna take over your dept in a few years.

      • It’s like many unionized jobs. They are so well paid and gold-plated that they tend to get passed down through the family

      • Kickbacks and tribalism.

        once they get a toehold they’re gonna take over your dept

        Once one of them gets promoted to manager.

      • Yep, in the IT departments I have worked in, once one gets into a hiring role it’s all over for that section. Gradually the locals are replaced with the ‘brown brothers’. The higher up the tree they get the worse it gets. They still have to keep a few of the competent locals around to actually do the real work but they occupy the bulls*t jobs readily.

  2. So 2 million government workers (including many now as non citizen foreign nationals with PR or even as TR) – sucking off the Australian taxpayer in government jobs got 5% in more wages.

    But the other 12 million in the 14 million person Australian workforce had declining wages relative to the increased cost of living impacts and we have record levels of unemployment.

    In relative terms (wage increases v cost of living increases) some -6.8% negative over the last 5 years. Same with gdp per Capita, it has fallen in real and relative terms.


    -> The 3rd world migrant intake overshoot.

    5 million third world unskilled migrants on foreign passports/ non citizens.
    (1.9 million PR, 2.56 million TR / SCV, 440,000 illegally working tourist visitors) 90% or 4.5 million in just Sydney or Melbourne alone.
    Entering to live & work illegally in the vast foreign criminal run migrant blackmarket sub economy.
    At least 1.8 million here on visa pretext only to steal, work cash in hand, fake ID, ABN labor rings etc.
    We have more migrant guestworkers onshore in Australia than Gaddafi at his peak.

    ▫️Destroying Australian citizen youth & mature age employment in job theft.
    ▫️Destroying wages for everyone.
    ▫️Third world squalor & congestion.
    ▫️Contention in housing & services pushing up the Australian cost of living.
    ▫️The migrant influx massively degrading our society & standard of living.


    🔻Recent Parliamentary submission on Australia wage growth failure.

    🔻Roy Morgan Australian unemployed statistics.
    🔹Parliamentary submission.
    The extent and causes of the wage growth slowdown in Australia
    9 April 2019 Geoff Gilfillan
    Statistics and Mapping Section
    Executive summary
    * A range of measures show a significant slowing in wage growth in Australia over the past five years. The Wage Price Index (WPI) grew at an annual average of 2.2 per cent in the five years to December 2018, which compares with average annual growth of 3.3 per cent in the previous five years to December 2013.
    * Average annual growth in real wages in the five years to November 2018 was significantly less than the average recorded in the previous five years to November 2013[1]—0.5 per cent per annum compared with 1.8 per cent per annum.
    * Growth in wages for women has been stronger than wage growth for men over the five years to November 2018—increasing by an annual average of 2.8 per cent
    * The Average Annualised Wage Increase (AAWI) for enterprise agreements in all industries fell progressively from 3.5 per cent in December 2013 to 2.7 per cent in December 2018.
    * The major causes of the slowdown in wage growth cited by both the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and Treasury include the presence of excess capacity in the labour market* and stubbornly high rates of underemployment^.

    *code for 5 million third world unskilled migrant guestworkers thieving Australian jobs.

    ^code for 1.2 million Australians now on welfare & 2.5 million plus+ not able to get a job because of the migrant influx.
    🔹Roy Morgan employment October 11 2019 Finding No. 8159

    1.2 million Australians were unemployed (8.7% of the workforce) with an additional 970,000 (7.0%) now under-employed.

    * The workforce, which comprises employed Australians and those who are unemployed and looking for work, has increased year-on-year by 416,000 to 13,836,000.

    * Roy Morgan’s unemployment figure of 8.7% for September is higher than the current ABS estimate for August 2019 of 5.3%
    * Roy Morgan’s total unemployment and under-employment of 2,174,000 Australians (15.7% of the workforce) in September is larger than figures usually proffered.
    * The ABS survey the ‘Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation’ released in 2017 claims a figure of 2.7 million Australians who would like a job or to work more hours – including 1.1 million people the ABS said wanted a job but are excluded from the Labour Force.

  3. Jumping jack flash

    The government finally giving something back, where the private sector has failed, and keeps on failing.

    It has come full circle. I remember when I was leaving highschool, a few years after the recession we had to have, and all the student advisors used to repeat the mantra of government jobs are the winning option for job security and a career path.
    At that point in time the recession was pretty much over, but had decimated a lot of [unsustainable?] private sector jobs and unemployment was still quite high.

    Then as I was about to enter the workforce after uni a funny thing had happened over that time – the great privatisation was in full swing. The private sector was going gangbusters on the back of infinite debt.

    It took a while, but now that the debt has all but run out, once again working for the government is the place to be.

  4. I wonder what they classify to be ‘public servants’ could include NDIS workers that don’t work for government…
    The classification here is important.

  5. I met a guy recently a proud PS claiming if there are more of them and their wages go up ,that’s more income tax collection for the Gov. LOL.

  6. In a post productivity society the purpose of excess labour is to reduce the efficiency of our remaining industries.
    With this in mind the expansion of the Public (not Service) is an ideal place to implement / expand our national policy promoting inefficiency

  7. Was slipped this by a client in Defence today.

    May be of interest

    From: Secretary of Defence
    Sent: Wednesday, 6 November 2019 5:49 PM
    To: All Defence APS Staff
    Subject: Important message from the Secretary – your pay rise: how do you want to proceed?
    Importance: High


    Dear colleagues

    The Defence Enterprise Agreement 2017-2020 nominally expires on 16 August 2020. I am considering how to proceed in relation to pay and terms and conditions for the next three years from August 2020.

    For the first time, there is an alternative available to me to deliver your next pay rise. The Government’s bargaining policy allows me to consider approving pay rises under section 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999 in a determination. If I were to take this step, the current enterprise agreement would continue to operate unchanged during the life of the determination. This means all your other terms and conditions would remain the same.

    Your responses to the APS Census in 2018 and 2019 suggest to me that you are largely satisfied with non-monetary conditions (such as leave and flexible working arrangements), but are less satisfied with pay.

    A determination would provide you with three consecutive annual pay rises to salary and salary-related allowances, and preserve your current conditions. This would provide certainty of dates, with the pay rise to be delivered as follows:

    o 2% effective 20 August 2020, paid 3 September 2020;
    o 2% effective 19 August 2021, paid 2 September 2021;
    o 2% effective 18 August 2022, paid 1 September 2022.

    Before I make a decision about a determination, I want to know your views.

    A poll will be conducted that asks a single question. The poll will be run between 0800 Thursday 21 November and 1400 Monday 25 November 2019 (AEDT).

    I encourage you to visit the PeopleConnect page to understand more about a determination and what it means for you. The page will also include details of the information sessions to be run by Defence People Group between now and 20 November.

    If you have any questions about the determination or the poll please email APS.PeoplePolicy.

    I encourage you to participate in the poll and let me know your views.

    Yours sincerely

    Greg Moriarty

      • 2% per annum guaranteed will be gold in the coming apocalypse … to a private sector outsider. But for example, several NSW agencies are locked into 2.5% per annum for that period, so relatively speaking it is a bit stingy.

    • The Traveling Wilbur

      This would appear to be a two-pipe problem, Watson.

      The saddest thing is that even this, in Australia of all places, doesn’t surprise me anymore. Not sure whether Moriarty will be calling the voters Comrade or Dmubass if they fall for this.