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The NSW government is ripping off nurses, teachers, midwives, transport workers, and more.

Public sector workers in the Hunter region have lost $16,700 a year from their wages as a result of pay freezes by the Liberal State government, according to the new report Public Services in the Hunter: An Engine of Economic and Social Prosperity by the Centre of Future Work.


Millions of dollars lost that would have circulated in communities and enriched the local economy.

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Public Services in the Hunter:


An Engine of Economic and Social Prosperity

A new report prepared by the Centre of Future Work reveals the provision of essential public services generates far-reaching economic and social benefits for the Hunter region, injecting billions of dollars into the local community and supporting tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs.

 It is vital to the prosperity of the whole region that public services are supported and well-funded by the next state government.

Dr Jim Stanford,
Economist and Director of the Centre of Future Work

Public sector jobs make up at least 35% of total Hunter region employment


Inadequate funding by the state government of vital public services

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Major findings of the report:

  • Four sectors in which public provision is especially important (including health care, education, public administration and safety, and transportation) account for 35% of total Hunter region employment, and 85% of net job growth, in the last 5 years.  

  • State-funded services alone account for almost 30,000 direct full-time equivalent (FTE) positions in the Hunter region, making this sector the largest single employer in the region. Those services add over $3 billion per year to regional GDP.

  • Combined wages and salaries for state public sector workers in the Hunter total $2.65 billion per year – constituting an enormous injection of household income and spending power into the regional economy.

  • State-funded service providers in the Hunter (including hospitals and schools) purchase some $1.3 billion worth of “upstream” inputs, materials, supplies, and services from private businesses in the public sector supply chain.

  • Consumer spending by state public service workers in the Hunter (and those in the supply chain) adds $1.75 billion to the sales of consumer goods and services businesses, most of them located right in this region.

  • For every 10 direct jobs in state-funded public services, there are another 5 indirect jobs in upstream supply chain and downstream consumer industries. In total, 45,000 regional jobs (public and private) depend on continued provision of high-quality state public services.

  • Public sector jobs are an especially important source of work and income for women. Women account for 64% of jobs in major Hunter public sector industries. The gender wage gap in public services is much smaller (12% for full-time ordinary earnings) than in the private sector.

  • Public services are especially important in regional areas, due to dispersed and older populations; greater distances between communities; and limited alternative employment opportunities. State service jobs (FTEs) make up 11.4% of all employment in the Hunter, 2 percentage points more than in Sydney.

For further information on the report, or to arrange comment, please contact Leigh Shears:

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