6248.0.55.001 - Wage and Salary Earners, Public Sector, Australia, Mar 2007  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/06/2007   
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Commonwealth government employees

Employees of all departments, agencies and authorities created by or reporting to the Commonwealth Parliament. Those bodies run jointly by the Commonwealth government and state governments are classified to Commonwealth.

General government enterprises

Public sector enterprises mainly engaged in the production of goods and services, outside the normal market mechanisms, providing these goods and services to the general public. The cost of operations is often financed from public revenues (e.g. government departments).

Gross earnings

Payments to employees before tax and other items (such as superannuation) are deducted. They comprise amounts paid from interstate or overseas; ordinary time and overtime earnings; over-award payments; penalty payments, shift and other remunerative allowances; commissions and retainers; bonuses and similar payments; payments under incentive or piecework; payments under profit-sharing schemes; leave loadings; annual and long service leave payments; sick leave payments; advance and retrospective payments; salaries and fees paid to directors, members of boards, committees, commissions, councils, etc.; amounts paid to employees on workers’ compensation who continue to be paid through the payroll; and severance, termination and redundancy payments.


Industry is classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification.

Institutional sector

Institutional sector is classified according to the Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia.

Local government employees

Employees of municipalities and shires and other local authorities created by or subject to the provisions of local government legislation, such as county councils in New South Wales.

Number of employees

All public sector wage and salary earners who received pay for any part of the relevant pay period, including:

  • permanent, temporary, casual, managerial and executive employees
  • part-time and casual employees who may have received pay for only a few hours during the reference period
  • employees on paid leave and those on workers' compensation who continue to be paid through the payroll.

Employees who, for the whole pay period, were on leave without pay, on strike or who were stood down without pay are excluded. Casual employees who work on an irregular basis and who were not paid for the relevant pay period are also excluded.

Public financial enterprises

Public sector enterprises actively involved in financial market transactions such as borrowing and lending. Excluded are those public bodies whose funds flow directly to or from general government revenue.

Public sector employees

Administrative employees and all other employees of Commonwealth, state and local government businesses and financial undertakings engaged in services and activities such as railways, road transport, banks, postal and telecommunications, education, radio, television, police, public works, factories, marketing authorities, hospitals and welfare institutions.

Public trading enterprises

Public sector enterprises predominantly engaged in the production of goods and services with an intention of maximising profits and financial returns with most operating costs being derived from trading activities.

Reference period for earnings

All pay periods which end within the quarter.

Reference period for the number of employees

The last pay period ending on or before the third Friday of the middle month of the quarter.

State government employees

Employees of all state government departments and authorities created by, or reporting to, state parliaments, including organisations for which the Commonwealth has assumed financial responsibility. Following self-government, employees of the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory administrations have been classified to state government. Employees of state governments employed interstate are included in the estimates of the state in which they are based.