The "average" Australian Public Service worker in 2021-22 was a 43-year-old woman working in service delivery, with an APS 6 level classification. She was most likely based in Canberra and from an English-speaking background, according to the latest State of the Service Report.
The latest Australian Public Service Commission's annual State of the Service Report and APS Employment Data showed various changes to the makeup of the APS.
The APS employed 159,469 people in 2022, a 3.8 per cent increase from 153,686 last year.
The APS 6 classification continued to have the largest share of public service workers, followed by EL 1 and then APS 4.
Service delivery also remained the main job type in the public service, making up about a quarter of the workforce in 2021-22. This was followed by compliance and regulation, and then administration.
The APS is ageing
The average age of an APS employee has increased by three years over the past decade to 43.4 years in 2022, compared to 40.2 years in 2003.
The report said "the APS workforce is ageing. The mix of workers of all generations has increased, with 47 per cent of the APS aged 45 years or older".
Forty to 44-year-olds were the biggest age group in the APS, followed by 45 to 49-year-olds and then 50 to 54-year-olds.
The average retirement age of APS employees was 61.3 years in 2022, with more people staying employed past the retirement age and fewer young people joining the public service.
More than a third of all public servants lived in Canberra in 2021-22 and 0.9 per cent were located overseas.
The APS location strategy, being developed by the future of work sub-committee, found the public service "has been Canberra-centric in its recruitment" and is exploring options to locate staff outside the ACT, particularly in regional locations.
Gender balance achieved at senior levels
Women made up 60 per cent of the APS in 2021-22, the same ratio as last year.
The report said the gender pay gap had decreased by 0.6 percentage points to 6 per cent in 2021 compared with 2020, when it was last recorded.
In 2021, the APS gender pay gap was less than half the national gender pay gap of 14.1 per cent.
The APS 6 level had the most women, while APS 4 had the largest proportion of women to men.
The proportion of women in leadership positions also continued to grow, with women making up 52 per cent of the senior executive service.
Excluding Australia, the most common countries of birth of APS employees include India at 3 per cent, England at 2.8 per cent and China at 1.4 per cent, largely reflecting the composition of the wider Australian population.
The proportion of APS employees whose first language was English has steadily decreased over the last 20 years, from 82 per cent in 2003 to 76.7 per cent in 2022.
The proportions of public servants whose first languages were English and another language increased from 7.7 per cent in 2003 to 12.2 per cent in 2022.
7.9 per cent of the 2022 APS Employee Census respondents identified as LGBTIQA+, a 0.9 percentage point increase from the previous year.
The proportion identifying as LGBTIQA+ has steadily increased since data first became available in 2017.
9.9 per cent of employees also reported having an ongoing disability in the anonymous survey, a slight increase from 9.3 per cent in 2021.
Decreased First Nations representation
The APS is not on track to meets targets for First Nations representation in the public service, with fewer Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people employed in the APS compared to the previous year.
About 3.5 per cent of the APS workforce identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander in 2022, a 0.2 percentage point decrease from the previous three years.
Nearly 70 per cent of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander public servants were woman, and 16 per cent were trainees.
More First Nations employees also left the APS. The separation rate was 9.9 per cent compared with 8.1 per cent rate for all APS employees.
First Nations workers had shorter careers in the APS, at a median of 4.4 years in the service before leaving. This was nearly half the time of service before separation for the whole APS, at 8.9 years.
The reported said "the APS is not on track to meet its targets for First Nations people to be in leadership positions" and "significant further work" is needed to meet the Albanese government's target of 5 per cent First Nations representation in the APS by 2030.