The size of the Australian Public Sector (APS) shrunk by 4.7 percent in the twelve months between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2014, during which the Coalition Government was in power for approximately nine months. Unprecedented since 1998-99, (i.e. under John Howard’s Government) there have been more retrenchments than resignations, with retrenchments increasing from 27.8 percent to 41.5 percent of all separations, according to the latest statistical bulletinfrom the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC).
7,925 less staff were working in the APS as of 30 June 2014 than at 1 July 2013, according to the bulletin, which gave the current number of employees as 159,126 employees.
The number of ongoing employees fell by 4.1 percent during the twelve month period, from 152,189 to 145,891. For non-ongoing employees, (which represented 8.3 percent of all APS employees) the decrease was more drastic - from 14,862 to 13,235 (10.9 percent) between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2014.
The natural attrition rate, which includes resignations and retirements, was 4 percent in 2013–14, down just 0.2 percent from 2012–13.
The Department of Human Services is the largest employer in the APS with 34,757 employees; the Australian Taxation Office employs 23,259, while the Department of Defence (excluding the Australian Defence Force) employs 21,163.