18 Feb 2013

Public servant numbers drop in Australia

6:04 am on 18 February 2013

The Australian Council of Trade Unions says the number of public servants is down for the first time in more than a decade.

AAP reports a new analysis of quarterly jobs reports issued on Monday show there were 2500 fewer public servants in June 2012 than the previous year.

In previous years, commonwealth, state government and councils hired an average of 40,000 new personnel annually.

The report also notes this may be only the start, since many cuts, such as those in Queensland, were made in the 2012/13 financial year.

The public administration and safety sector shed 50,800 jobs in the year to November 2012.

AAP reports that was the largest drop in the sector since the Australian Bureau of Statistics began recording quarterly labour force data in 1984.

ACTU president Ged Kearney said the federal government, as well Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria and WA, and councils had reduced the size of the public sector. And more cuts have been foreshadowed.

"Many of (those) who lose their jobs will spend long periods of time in unemployment," Ms Kearney said