Thursday, June 13, 2024

2022 Public Service Workforce Data shows growing diversity

Public Service Commissioner, Peter Hughes, has today published the 2022 Public Service Workforce Data, which he says shows the Public Service is becoming more reflective of the communities it serves.

The data provides a snapshot of trends in the Public Service workforce. It includes staff numbers, age, gender, ethnicity, occupation, salaries and gender pay gaps. The information is collected from staff payroll data in all 37 Public Service departments at 30 June 2022.  

This year’s data shows the Public Service workforce is becoming more diverse and good progress is being made on gender equality and fairer wages for lower paid workers. This progress has been achieved within the context of whole of economy workforce challenges: low unemployment, a skills shortage and inflation, the Commissioner said.

Public Service Commissioner, Peter Hughes.

More women are occupying senior leadership roles and the gender pay gap is the lowest since measurement began in 2000.

“The data shows we are making good progress as a result of our focus on diversity and inclusion. This work is supported by a programme of work to encourage positive workplace behaviours and we will measure our progress against this in the next Public Service Census,” said Mr Hughes.

Highlights from the 2022 data: 

More diverse: Diversity in the Public Service continues to increase and is now near or higher than New Zealand-wide working-age representation across most ethnic groups. Public servants who identify as Asian now represent 13.4% of the Public Service workforce, up from 9.4% in 2017 and 3.3% in 2000. Pacific people represent 10.6% of the workforce, up from 8.7% in 2017. Middle Eastern, Latin American and African public servants represent 2.1% of the workforce, up from 1.3% in 2017. Māori represent 16.7% of the Public Service workforce, up from 16.0% in 2017.

Generational shift: The average age in the Public Service is trending downwards. It is 44.0 years, after peaking at 44.8 years in 2015/16. Public servants under the age of 35 now make up 31% of the workforce, compared with 25% in 2012.

More women leaders: The number of women in senior management roles continues to increase, now at 55.8% – up from 53.5% last year and 39.8% in 2010.

Fairer pay for women: The gender pay gap in the Public Service at 30 June 2022 was 7.7%, down from 8.6% last year. This is the lowest gender pay gap in the Public Service since measurement began in 2000, when the gap was 18.6%. 

Closing ethnic pay gaps: With the gender pay gap now at a record low, the Public Service is stepping up efforts to close ethnic pay gaps. In the last year, the Māori pay gap closed from 8.3% to 6.5% this year, and a significant improvement since 2017 when the gap was 11.3%. The Pacific pay gap has fallen from 21.7% in 2017, to 17.7% at June 2022. However, the Asian pay gap is 12.4%, increasing from 11.6% last year, against 12.1% in 2017. The Public Service is implementing a concerted action plan to close ethnic pay gaps. It is targeting bias and increased career and leadership development, and progression for people from Pacific and ethnic communities.

Size of the Public Service: The number of full-time equivalent employees in the Public Service has stabilised. As expected, the rate of growth in the workforce has dropped as the country exited COVID-19 and many short-term roles came to an end, for example Managed Isolation Quarantine facilities were closed. The size of the workforce is now 60,381, down 715 on last year (a 1.2% decrease). The Ministry of Health had fewer staff than last year, due to functions moving to the new health entities outside the Public Service from 1 July. Without these changes, growth in the size of the Public Service workforce would have increased slightly, by around 200 FTEs, or 0.3%. 

Remuneration: The average annual salary in the Public Service in 2022 was $90,800, up 3.7% from $87,600 last year. Pay increases have continued to benefit those towards the lower end and middle of the pay distribution. In 2022 the number of public servants who earn less than $60,000 fell 13.8 percent (1,630 FTE) to 10,150 FTE. Staff earning less than $60,000 now comprise 16.8 percent of the public service workforce, down from 25.5 percent in 2020.

Chief executive pay: The average remuneration for chief executives decreased 1.4 percent in the year to 30 June 2022. The net result over the last five years is a 5.2 percent decrease.

Contractors and consultants: The 2021/22 share of operating spending on contractors and consultants as a percentage of spending on the Public Service workforce, is 14.6%, up from 13.4% in 2017/18 when more consistent and transparent reporting was introduced. In dollar terms, total spending, including operating and capital, increased 32%. The bulk of the increase was driven by Covid-19 (the national vaccination programme), government priorities (health system reform and changes to three waters and the Resource Management Act), plus some one-off IT improvement projects, upgrading online access to government services and migrating legacy systems to cloud-based, which are more secure, resilient and cost efficient in the long-term.   

Sick leave:Public servants took an average 8.3 days sick or domestic leave in the year to June 2022, which is relatively unchanged in the last five years. It was and 8.4 days in 2017. 

“In the last year the Public Service has continued to make good progress in key areas, including diversity, gender equality and fairer pay,” said Mr Hughes.

“The rate of growth in the workforce stabilised in the last year. Over the past few years, the Government invested more into frontline services to respond to high population growth. The Public Service also needed to grow to implement the Government’s COVID-19 response but we’re now coming out of that phase.

“This has been achieved in the context of challenges facing the whole economy, including the borders remaining closed for much of the year, with all sectors of the economy, the Public Service included, experiencing tight labour market conditions.

“Turnover in particular has been a challenge but with economists predicting these conditions to ease over the next 12-18 months, turnover should return to normal levels.

“What is pleasing is that despite all the challenges, the Public Service is becoming more diverse, more inclusive and fairer paid. The result is a Public Service that better reflects and understands the communities it serves, which makes the Public Service a more attractive place to work,” the Commissioner said.

The data is available online as a fully interactive information portal with data stretching back to the year 2000. This means users can filter and customise the information based on their interests and clearly see trends over time.

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