Queensland public service adds 11,700 workers, corporate roles growing at faster rate than frontline

Queensland public service adds 11,700 workers, corporate roles growing at faster rate than frontline
  • PublishedJune 11, 2024

Queensland’s public service has added an extra 11,700 workers within 12 months, with about one quarter of state government employees now earning over $120,000 per year.

The latest figures – to be released with the state budget on Tuesday – also show the number of corporate roles in the public service is growing at a faster rate than frontline jobs.

As of March this year, the total size of the Queensland public service had reached 258,012 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs), which is up from 246,309 the same time last year.

This included 233,933 FTEs that are classed as key frontline, frontline, or frontline support roles – which is a 4.3 per cent increase from 12 months earlier.

These frontline roles take in a range of jobs, such as teachers, social workers, prosecutors, police officers, nurses, midwives, correctional officers, doctors, firefighters and ambulance officers.

In contrast, corporate service jobs – which include roles like accounting, human resources and marketing – climbed 9.29 per cent in the same one-year period, to 24,078 FTEs as of March.

A man in aan open neck shirt and suit jacket speaking at a podium.
The first Queensland budget since Steven Miles became premier will be released today.(ABC News: Lucas Hill)

The new figures will be unveiled today in the Public Sector Commission’s State of the Sector report, as the Labor government hands down its first budget since Steven Miles became premier.

“I know how hard our frontline healthcare staff, police, teachers, social workers, scientists, ambos and park rangers work every single day,” Mr Miles said.

“That’s just a slice of Queensland’s biggest workforce, who dedicate their lives to making Queensland a better place.”

Growth across frontline

The report reveals that police officer numbers fell from 11,907 FTEs in March 2023 to 11,890 in March 2024.

However, the government says that number as of June this year had since increased to 12,065 FTEs.

Police recruitment numbers also almost doubled from 284 in March last year to 558 in March this year amid an extensive recruitment campaign.

Side photo of Queensland police car.
Police numbers declined between March 2023 and March 2024, but have since increased.(ABC News: Stuart Bryce)

Meanwhile, teacher numbers increased by 0.94 per cent during the same period, while ambulance officer numbers climbed by 5.64 per cent, and doctors jumped by 6.77 per cent.

There was also a 5.2 per cent increase in child safety case workers between March last and March this year, as well as 6.52 per cent uplift in correction officers.

The 4.3 per cent increase in all key frontline, frontline, or frontline support roles is the biggest annual increase in the past four years.

The 9.29 per cent growth in corporate roles this past year is also the greatest annual jump in such jobs in the past four years.

The State of the Sector report notes savings measures brought in during the COVID-19 pandemic significantly slowed the growth of corporate roles.

“Across 2023 and 2024 recruitment in corporate services increased. This represented a right-sizing of corporate roles following their decrease during the pandemic,” the report says.

One in four public servants earning $120,000 plus

Workers earning more than $180,000 per year now make up 2.19 per cent of the public service compared to 1.81 per cent a year ago.

Public servants who earn between $150,000 and $179,999 per year make up 4.3 per cent compared to 2.71 per cent a year earlier.

About 17.76 per cent of public servants also now earn between $120,000 and $149,999 per year, which is an increase from 15.88 per cent a year earlier.

The top of Queensland Government building 1 William Street in Brisbane CBD.
The total size of the Queensland public service as of March this year is 258,012.13 full time equivalent employees.(ABC News: Chris Gillette)

In March 2020, the proportion of public servants earning upwards of $120,000 a year was 12.51 per cent, but this is now sitting at 24.25 per cent.

About 54 per cent of public servants earn less than $100,000 compared to 57.8 per cent a year ago, and 69.19 per cent in March 2020.

The State of the Sector report is a new reporting method of public service data that will see employee numbers released once a year instead of twice a year as it was under the previous model.

Public Sector Commissioner David Mackie said the new reporting method provides “greater analysis and explanation than ever before”.

The state LNP opposition has previously promised to reverse the changes to the reporting method and release the data twice a year.


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