The New Zealand State sector 1 employs around 300,000 people. This represents 13% of the total workforce in New Zealand.
Within the State sector, the Education (35%) and Health (22%) sectors are the largest. This is followed by the Public Service (16%). The public sector workforce is shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2: The public sector workforce (headcount), June 2014
Within the State sector, the size of each workforce varies according to the context in which the sector is working. The Public Service has remained about the same size over the past 5 years (+0.1%), compared to health and local government which have grown by 18% and 14% respectively. The education sector has decreased in size by 6.7%.
Figure 3: Workforce growth in State and private sectors, 2004-2014
Figure 3 illustrates annual workforce growth between the State and private sectors over the last decade. During the mid 2000's, when economic conditions were more favourable, the private sector workforce outgrew the State sector. As economic conditions worsened in 2007-2010, private sector workforce growth was impacted more than in the State sector. The subsequent improvement in the economy saw the private sector workforce grow faster than the State sector. This year the State sector has increased in size by 1.0% which compares to an increase in the private sector of 3.9%.
1: The SSC uses the HRC survey, the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES), the Health Workforce Information Programme (HWIP), and Defence Force data to estimate the number of employees in the Public Sector.