The Numbers Grow Ever More Staggering Every Year.
Around early November of every year, the ABS publishes statistics on the number of public sector employees in Australia. The numbers grow ever more staggering every year.
The ABS says there were 2,430,400 public sector employees in Australia as at 30 June 2023. That is across Commonwealth, State, Territory, and Local Government. By way of context, this is:
- more than the entire population of Perth;
- a centimetre away from the entire population of Brisbane;
- five times the entire population of the ACT; and
- four times the entire population of Tasmania.
How bad would the shortages be if the public sector did not hoover up all the skills and resources which are in short supply.
The salary costs for all these employees for the 12 months to 30 June 2023 was a humble $215 billion. Again by way of context, Australia could pay for the multi-year AUKUS nuclear submarine program with one and one third years of Australian public sector employee salaries.
In November 2022, the ABS said there were 2,160,000 public sector employees at June 2022. Twelve months later, in November 2023, the ABS said there were 2,348,400 at the very same date. That is, the ABS somehow found an extra 188,000 extra public sector employees hiding behind the lounge cushions. Just a small 9% variation.
The ABS says there were 2,430,400 public sector employees in Australia as at 30 June 2023
This is not a suggestion that there should be no public sector employees. But 2.4 million? Is it any wonder that Australia is experiencing economic pain and inflation with ever more resources being transferred from production to the public sector. Plus all the reported skills shortages … in engineering, ICT, legal, accounting, and trades … how bad would the shortages be if the public sector did not hoover up all the skills and resources which are in short supply.
These numbers are staggering but are sadly par for the course in Australia, where our political leaders seem to believe that any problem can be solved by taking money and property by means of legal force from taxpayers to give to people who pay no price when their schemes and solutions don’t work.
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Dimitri Burshtein is a Principal at Eminency Advisory and a former government policy analyst. He is a contributor to The Australian newspaper, Spectator Australia magazine and various libertarian blogs. Dimitri has also appeared on SkyNews and 2GB radio.