Canada’s public sector ballooned during the pandemic at the expense of private industry new data by the Fraser Institute shows.
86.7% of all of the new jobs created between Feb. 2020 and Jul. 2022 were government jobs. During that period, the public sector grew by 9.4% while the private sector eked out only 0.4% growth.
“Many of the headline statistics surrounding the Canadian labour market appear encouraging at a glance, but the reality is more complicated,” said Fraser Institute senior fellow Ben Eisen.
“Canada’s job creation in recent years has not been driven by private sector-growth, but rather has primarily been the result of government hiring.”
Taking into account population growth, the number of people over 15-years of age working for private jobs fell from 49.3% to 48.2%.
The number of self-employed people declined sharply by 7.4% through the duration of the pandemic – slowing down the private sector’s recovery.
While Canadians working in the private sector took pay cuts and struggled to make ends meet, the federal government was lavishing its own workers with raises.
A report by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) from Sept. 2021 found that 312,825 federal workers and MPs received raises throughout the pandemic.
“Canadians have experienced a tale of two pandemics: one full of private sector pain, the other full of bureaucrat pay increases,” CTF Federal Director Franco Terrazzano said.
“We need politicians and bureaucrats to help shoulder the burden because it can’t just be struggling families and businesses forced to pay back the $1-trillion federal debt.”
The public sector also saw an explosion of people working in executive positions.
According to the Association of Professional Executives of the Public Service of Canada, the number of executives working in federal positions ballooned by 21% with a record 7,900 positions added.