Source: Wikipedia

The public sector has more than tripled the amount of job growth within the private sector since the beginning of the pandemic, according to a new study by the Fraser Institute

Ben Eisen, Evin Ryan and Milagros Palacios co-authored the report, titled “Public and Private Sector Job Growth in the Provinces During the COVID-19 Era,” which found that net job growth went up 11.8% in the public sector between February 2020 and June 2023, whereas the private sector saw an increase of only 3.3%.

“In all ten provinces, the rate of job growth was faster in the public sector than in the private sector, including self-employment. In four provinces, private sector net job creation expressed in this way was negative,” wrote The Fraser Institute, a fiscally conservative think tank. 

The Trudeau government has cited top-line labour force statistics on several occasions to claim that Canada’s employment levels made a full recovery coming out of the pandemic, however the majority of those jobs are in the public sector, not the private sector. 

The public sector includes those who are employed federally, provincially and municipally. 

Although jobs in the public sector are up across the country, “the provinces vary widely in the extent of public and private sector job growth.” said the study. 

“Of the four largest provinces, British Columbia had the fastest rate of public sector job creation (22.6 percent) and the slowest rate of private sector job creation (0.3 percent), while Alberta had the lowest rate of government sector job growth (8.9 percent) and the fastest rate of private sector job growth (6.2 percent).”

The rate of public sector job growth in Ontario was 11.7% compared to 4.7% in the private sector. In Quebec, jobs in the public went up by 7.6% compared to 2% for the private sector.

The study also pointed out how Canada’s rising population should have lent itself to a higher growth in the private sector but unfortunately, has not. 

“The rate of private sector job growth appears even weaker if we consider that this has been a period of rapid population growth in Canada and that the country’s population over age 15 increased by 4.8% over the same time.” said the study.

During the pandemic, the Trudeau government paid out an additional $190 million dollars to public sector employees in bonuses. Executives who worked with the Canadian Tourism Commission received bonuses of $32,000 per employee even though industry was shut down as a result of the lockdown.