Employment and Earnings, Public Sector, Australia

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Contains estimates of public sector employees and cash wages and salaries by level of government, state and industry

Reference period
2020-21 financial year

Key statistics

There were 2,100,800 public sector employees at the end of June 2021 comprising:

  • 247,600 employees in Commonwealth government;
  • 1,662,400 in state government; and
  • 190,800 in local government.

Total public sector cash wages and salaries in 2020-21 was $182,940.4 million.

 Employees June 2021Cash wages and salaries 2020-21
Commonwealth Government247.623,133.8
State Government1,662.4145,644.9
Local Government190.814,161.7
Total Public Sector2,100.8182,940.4


  • Although earnings estimates relate to the full twelve months of the financial year, employment estimates relate to the last pay period ending in June of the given year. Given these differences, the ABS does not recommend using these components together to calculate average earnings. This is particularly true during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years, given the extent of short-term changes in the labour market during the pandemic.
  • Estimates in this release may differ from other available information due to differences in coverage and/or the classification of organisations. For further details, refer to the Comparability of results section of the Methodology.


Public sector employees, level of government, states and territories
 June 2020  June 2021  
ACT(a)77.126.2. .103.376.428.5. .104.9

. . not applicable
(a) The ACT Local and State government estimates have been combined for confidentiality reasons. The result is displayed under the ACT State estimate and associated totals.
r revised

States and territories

Public sector cash wages and salaries, level of government, states and territories
 2019-20  2020-21  
ACT(a)7,760.62,421.6. .10,182.27,735.92,771.8. .10,507.7

. . not applicable
(a) The ACT Local and State government estimates have been combined for confidentiality reasons. The result is displayed under the ACT State estimate and associated totals.
r revised


Public sector employees and cash wages and salaries, industry
 EmployeesCash wages and salaries
 June 2020June 20212019-202020-21
Electricity, gas, water and waste services50.551.45,694.06,078.0
Transport, postal and warehousingr80.179.1r7,532.87,787.8
Information media and telecommunications16.515.51,718.61,755.3
Financial and insurance services14.014.91,703.21,852.0
Rental, hiring and real estate services4.92.6461.0271.5
Professional, scientific and technical Services26.628.22,664.92,846.2
Public administration and safety637.4659.856,520.359,521.7
Education and training634.0641.147,904.749,677.8
Health care and social assistance543.3570.847,220.050,239.4
Arts and recreation services14.918.31,135.91,162.2
Other industries(a)13.512.71,160.71,033.9
All industriesr2,041.92,100.8r174,328.2182,940.4

(a) Includes Agriculture, forestry and fishing, Mining, Manufacturing, Wholesale trade, Retail trade, Accommodation and food services, Administrative and support services and Other services.
r revised


Previously published estimates for 2019-20 have been revised as a result of new information received from organisations. The extent of revisions may differ between data items, states/territories, level of government and industries. These revisions are reflected in the Employees, States and territories and Industry tables, and the associated time series spreadsheet.


For inquiries about these and related statistics, contact the Customer Assistance Service via the ABS website Contact Us page. The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information that you provide to us.

Data downloads

In line with updating to more recent technology formats, ABS will be progressively transitioning to Excel files in .XLSX format from 3 December 2021. This means the timeseries spreadsheets in Employment and Earnings, Public Sector, Australia, will be upgraded from the current .XLS to now be released in .XLSX. While this change will improve usability, it may also require changes to automated macros or similar programs that users may have in place that call on the current file extension format. 

This change will take effect from the 2021-22 financial year issue of Employment and Earnings, Public Sector, Australia, to be released in November 2022. The file format for previously released data will not change.

Public sector employees and cash wages and salaries

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 6248.0.55.002.

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