11,700 new Employees Join Queensland’s Public Sector, with Corporate Functions Expanding More Quickly

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Queensland’s public service workforce expanded by an additional 11,700 employees within the past year, with around 25% of state government employees now earning over $120,000 annually. The latest data, set to be released alongside the state budget on Tuesday, also indicates that the number of corporate roles in the public service is growing at a faster rate than frontline jobs.

As of March this year, the Queensland public service had reached 258,012 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs), up from 246,309 the previous year. This includes 233,933 FTEs in key frontline, frontline, or frontline support roles, marking a 4.3% increase from the prior year. These roles encompass a range of jobs, such as teachers, social workers, prosecutors, police officers, nurses, midwives, correctional officers, doctors, firefighters, and ambulance officers.

Conversely, corporate service jobs, which include positions in accounting, human resources, and marketing, increased by 9.29% over the same period, reaching 24,078 FTEs by March.

These figures will be detailed in the Public Sector Commission’s State of the Sector report, to be released as the Labor government presents its first budget since Steven Miles became premier.

“This is just a glimpse of Queensland’s largest workforce, dedicated to making Queensland a better place,” the report notes.

However, the report also reveals a slight decline in police officer numbers, from 11,907 FTEs in March 2023 to 11,890 in March 2024, although this figure had risen to 12,065 FTEs by June this year. Police recruitment nearly doubled, from 284 in March last year to 558 in March this year, following an extensive recruitment campaign.

Teacher numbers saw a modest increase of 0.94% during the same period, while ambulance officer numbers rose by 5.64%, and doctors by 6.77%. Child safety case workers increased by 5.2%, and correctional officers by 6.52%.

The 4.3% growth in all key frontline, frontline, or frontline support roles is the largest annual increase in the past four years. Similarly, the 9.29% growth in corporate roles over the past year is the highest annual jump in such positions in the past four years. The State of the Sector report notes that savings measures implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic significantly slowed the growth of corporate roles.

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