Saturday, October 13, 2012

Public Sector Employment in Canadian Provinces II

I mentioned in the previous post that the larger provinces tend to have smaller percentage of people working in the public sector.  I want to return to that point because I think it is the main reason that NL has a relatively large public sector.  

In the chart below, we compare population to public sector employment in Canadian provinces and territories.  The horizontal axis is public sector employment (excluding federal jobs) as a percentage of population, and the vertical axis is the logarithm of population  (I use a logarithm because population varies by orders of magnitude:  NL is 15 times the size of Yukon and BC is 15 times the size of NL, so just using population would ruin the chart). 

There is a very clear trend: the larger the province or territory, the smaller the share of public sector workers.  The four dots in the top left are the four big provinces: Ontario, Quebec, BC and Alberta.  The three dots to the far right are the territories.  I've marked NL in red.  While it is true that the red dot has been creeping to the right over the last 10 years, it still remains well within the norm.  

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