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ACT PS growing faster than the PS is shrinking

By johnboy - 11 December 2013 7

The ABC has the intriguing news that the ACT Public Service expanded by 2,000 jobs in the last year while Commonwealth employment contracted by just 1,500 places:

Currently the ACT PS is home to 25,500 workers.

What’s Your opinion?


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7 Responses to
ACT PS growing faster than the PS is shrinking
davo101 3:16 pm 16 Dec 13

IrishPete said :

Thanks. What ABS release is this coming from? The only relevant-looking recent one is the Labour force Survey.

6248.0.55.002 – Employment and Earnings, Public Sector, Australia, 2012-13

IrishPete said :

I assumed that numbers of pubic sector employees would be easily obtained from the public sector employers, and far more accurately than from a survey.

Well you would assume incorrectly then. Employment and pay are dealt with at the departmental level or lower so there is no overall database so they survey 2000 different government organisations to get an estimate. Plus the estimates relate to the last pay period ending in June which leaves open the issue of what to do with people that start and finish during that couple of weeks.

IrishPete said :

Perhaps if the journalism code of ethics required them to reference their source (like academics have to), they’d be more careful with making ridiculous claims.

IP

Journalists are people that did well in English at school but were useless at maths and the sciences. Not sure you are going to be able to instil the concept of referencing.

IrishPete 1:08 pm 13 Dec 13

davo101 said :

IrishPete said :

May I be the first to call “bullshit”. An increase of 8% in one year is simply unfeasible. There must be a change in the counting rules, or something like that, but I can’t be bothered to go hunt out the report and work it out.

IP

First Law of Journalism: do not trust any number you see in a news report.

The actual numbers are 2011-12 81,700 APS 24,800 ACT and 2012-13 82,700 APS 25,500 ACT.

As these are based on surveys there is sampling error so we can work out the change between the years as:
APS an increase of 1000 +/- 1100
ACT an increase of 700 +/- 1000

So the headline should have been “Public Service numbers in Canberra probably the same as year before”.

Thanks. What ABS release is this coming from? The only relevant-looking recent one is the Labour force Survey.

I assumed that numbers of pubic sector employees would be easily obtained from the public sector employers, and far more accurately than from a survey.

So whose mistake – the journos or the ABS?

Perhaps if the journalism code of ethics required them to reference their source (like academics have to), they’d be more careful with making ridiculous claims.

IP

davo101 8:12 am 13 Dec 13

IrishPete said :

May I be the first to call “bullshit”. An increase of 8% in one year is simply unfeasible. There must be a change in the counting rules, or something like that, but I can’t be bothered to go hunt out the report and work it out.

IP

First Law of Journalism: do not trust any number you see in a news report.

The actual numbers are 2011-12 81,700 APS 24,800 ACT and 2012-13 82,700 APS 25,500 ACT.

As these are based on surveys there is sampling error so we can work out the change between the years as:
APS an increase of 1000 +/- 1100
ACT an increase of 700 +/- 1000

So the headline should have been “Public Service numbers in Canberra probably the same as year before”.

rosscoact 5:56 am 13 Dec 13

IrishPete said :

May I be the first to call “bullshit”. An increase of 8% in one year is simply unfeasible. There must be a change in the counting rules, or something like that, but I can’t be bothered to go hunt out the report and work it out.

IP

yes, agreed. A year or so ago was last time I searched for this and the ACT had a slightly lower resident per public employee ratio than say, NSW at 16:1. Now we’re suddenly down to 14:1, doesn’t seem possible ceteris paribus.

IrishPete 11:43 pm 12 Dec 13

May I be the first to call “bullshit”. An increase of 8% in one year is simply unfeasible. There must be a change in the counting rules, or something like that, but I can’t be bothered to go hunt out the report and work it out.

IP

johnboy 1:08 pm 11 Dec 13

ACT is providing local government services as well mind you.

arescarti42 12:59 pm 11 Dec 13

There’s about 210k jobs in the ACT in total, so the ACT PS accounts for around 12% of the workforce in total, which probably sounds pretty good in comparison to other states.

One thing to remember though is that the State Governments in other states are providing services to a population dispersed across hundreds of settlements over an extremely large area, which one would imaging to be far more difficult and labour intensive than providing services to a city state like Canberra.

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