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Wage Watch: A comparison of public-sector and private-sector wages

This report compares public sector and private sector wages and benefits in Canada.

The broad public sector is a major employer: as a group, it employs 3.6 million Canadians—more than one job in five. 

The report finds that government workers earn a significant premium over their private sector counterparts. The federal government has the largest gaps, with a salary premium of 13.0%, which grows to 33.2% once benefits are taken into account. Premiums paid to municipal employees are almost as severe—8.9% (22.3% with benefits). Provincial governments, as a group, appear to have a little more control over salary premiums at 5.5%, but benefits bring the gap rises to 21.2% with benefits factored in.

The report concludes that the inflated wages and other benefits enjoyed by public sector workers are unfair to other Canadians, and an obvious source for potential savings for governments.

March 23, 2015

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Topics in this Article: Economic Studies

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