Budget 2014: Public Service gains/losses

This visualisation shows which portfolios are gaining or losing staff comparing the Budget 2013 with Budget 2014.


  • When the image is first displayed the grey circles are the Porfolios: circles connected to portfolios are Departments or Agencies which are part of that Portfolio.
  • Where there has been a loss of staff between Budget 2013 to Budget 2014, the circle will be red, if there has been a gain in staff the circle will be green.
  • The size of the circle is based on how many staff are gained or lost.


  • The circles can be selected and dragged around the screen.
  • When released in a new position the whole graph will “bounce around” on the screen until it settles.
  • Clicking on either the Portfolio circles (or the center circle) toggles the visibility of the linked child circles.
  • Hovering the mouse over a circle will display how many staff are affected and the name that circle represents.


  • Budget Paper 4 – Table 2.2 – Estimates of average staffing levels (ASL) of agencies in the Australian Government general government sector (p122 – p133). Available as a digital download from data.gov.au.


There is still quite a bit to do to complete this visualisation as there is missing information. Importantly some of the gains and losses can be explained due to what are called Machinery of Government changes which moves around blocks of staff as the Government changes the structure of Executive Government. There is plenty of detail contained within the footnotes of the source table yet to be visualised.
This visualisation does however provide another way to look at how public servants (the number employed) is impacted by the decisions of government. It can be seen some portfolios are impacted more than others.