Sunday, June 23, 2024

Jobs growth in the public sector outpaces private employment

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Australia’s job index has fallen by 14.3% in the last year, according to the latest Recruitment, Consulting & Staffing Association (RCSA) jobs report.

Permanent job opportunities fell 16.9%, while demand for flexible workers dropped 5.3%.

While this is bad news for the Australian economy as a whole, it suggests the public service could be turning a corner towards being a first-choice employer.

Public administration was the only sector to record an increase in demand, at 9.8% over the past 12 months.

This builds on the public service workforce growing 6.9% in the 2022-23 financial year.

The latest State of the Service Report shows 82.7% of workers are employed full-time, followed by 12.7% who are part-time, and 4.5% who are casual.

Ongoing progress in this area is essential to the government achieving its aim of reducing reliance on external contractors and consultancies.

Assistant minister for the public service Patrick Gorman said the data reflected the government’s commitment to revitalising the APS.

“This report shows how staff across the APS are focused on the purpose of their work,” Gorman said.

“Ninety-two per cent of public servants understanding how their work delivers improved outcomes for the lives of Australians is a fantastic result.”

“After what has been a very difficult few years for many APS employees, including the disheartening effects of robodebt, it is encouraging to see engagement levels remain high.”

Health, education and community services was the only professional group to see workforce growth. At 4.8%, it wasn’t meteoric but essential in plugging existing gaps in the public sector workforce.

RCSA CEO Charles Cameron said it was surprising it had taken so long for the jobs market to slow down given the current economic climate.

“Successive interest rate rises, and the fragile geopolitical landscape have softened the country’s job market, but It’s not surprising, with the RBA using monetary policy to weaken employment and bring down inflation,” he said.

“While there’s a clear softening it’s important to remember that the country is still adjusting to a new norm after an unprecedented boom in job demand during Covid. All things considered; I’d say we are in pretty good shape.

“Data collected over the next three months will give us a good indication of what we can expect over the next year.”

The full report is available here.


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