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APS Employment Data 31 December 2019 release

This release of the Australian Public Service (APS) employment data presents a statistical overview of the APS workforce employed under the Public Service Act 1999. It provides a broad overview of key workforce metrics as at 31 December 2019 and trends from 2000. A full set of data tables are available in Appendix 1.

This data release is a companion to the Australian Public Service Commissioner’s annual State of the Service Report. This report draws on a range of information sources, including annual APS agency and employee surveys to provide a detailed picture of the state of the APS.

This current APS employment data release covers 100 agencies. Any agencies without APS staff at 31 December 2019 are excluded from reporting.

The Australian Public Service Employment Database

On 30 June and 31 December each year a ‘snapshot’ covering all APS employees is released by the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) based on data provided by agencies. This is referred to as the Australian Public Service Employment Database (APSED).

APS employment data includes:

  • Demographic variables including age, gender and work location.
  • Classification (level) of APS positions, from trainee to SES level.
  • Diversity data including voluntary items self-reported by APS staff such as disability status, Indigenous status, and cultural diversity.
  • Staff movements including engagements, separations and transfers between agencies.

The reported size of the APS workforce is a headcount of all people employed at the time of the ‘snapshot’. This figure does not adjust for hours worked and it includes any employees who are on extended leave (for 3 months or more), including those on maternity leave and leave without pay.

This figure is different to Average Staffing Level (ASL) data provided in the Federal Budget papers. The ASL counts staff for the time they work. For example, a full time employee is counted as one ASL, while a part time employee who works three full days per week contributes 0.6 of an ASL. The ASL averages staffing over an annual period. It is not a point in time calculation.

The Government places a cap on ASL. This is applied across the General Government Sector (which incorporates all of the APS and a range of other government agencies). ASL caps are published in the Federal Budget Papers each year (for 2018–19 and 2019-20 ASL estimates, see Federal Budget Paper Number 4, 2019).

Another measure of employee numbers used by both private and public sector organisations is Full Time Equivalent (FTE). This is a count of all hours worked at a point in time and then converted to the number of full time staff. For example, two staff each working 0.6 days per week would be counted as 1.2 FTE.

For further details on the APS employment database, including its scope, see the Australian Public Service Commission’s APSED page.

Interactive data—APSEDii

APSED data is also available via a series of interactive dashboards called the APSED interactive interface (APSEDii).

You can access current APS workforce data, including trend data. If you would like to access APS workforce data not covered by these data tables, please contact us at APSED [at] apsc.gov.au.


The APSC is committed to providing readers with the information they require in the most useful format, and feedback is welcome. Please contact apsed [at] apsc.gov.au if you would like to provide any comments.