20 October 2022

The data we collect gives us information on public sector occupations, workforce size, the regional workforce and workforce diversity and inclusion.

As at 30 June 2022, there were the equivalent of 60,381 full-time public servants working in New Zealand across a wide range of occupations. These public servants delivered high-quality services, responded to global challenges, while implementing Government priorities. Just under half work in the Wellington region, with 55% spread across the rest of the country.

The Public Service workforce decreased by 715 full-time equivalent roles (or -1.2%) in 2022. It is the first decline in ten years. The decrease in the size of the workforce in 2022 was driven by a number of factors. The largest change related to machinery of government changes arising from the Health Reforms.  The Ministry of Health had about 769 fewer FTEs than last year primarily due to functions moving to the new health entities that will be outside the Public Service on 1 July 2022.  Without these machinery of government changes, annual growth between 2021 and 22 would have been around 0.3%.

This is slower than the recent growth in the Public Service workforce. For example, in the year to 30 June 2021 there was an increase of 6.9% (or 3,948 FTEs) and the current Public Service remains 27.8% (or 13,130 FTEs) bigger than in 2017.  Contributing to this slowdown was the end of time-related projects, such as COVID, and the tight labour market conditions which have tended to make it more difficult for agencies to recruit.

Find more information about contractor and consultant expenditure in Workforce Data — Workforce size.