Winnipeg: The Frontier Centre for Public Policy today released a new study that uses Statistics Canada data to examine wage growth in different industries across the Canadian economy.
In the study, Public Administration Wage Growth in Canada, Frontier analyst Ben Eisen provides context on the rate of wage growth for public administration workers compared to other workers in the economy by analyzing Statistics Canada data that tracks the average wage growth in a wide range of industries. An examination of these data shows that wage growth for federal and provincial public administration workers has been faster than the growth experienced by any other industry tracked by Statistics Canada between 1998 and 2009.
The paper discusses the gap between the rate of wage growth for public administration workers and workers in other industries. The findings include:
· Federal government public administration workers saw their average wage increase by 59% during the time period examined. This is almost twice the rate of wage growth in the economy as a whole, which grew at approximately 30%.
· No other major industry tracked by Statistics Canada experienced wage growth that came close to matching the public administration category during this period. The next highest rates of growth were in the Real Estate and Mining and Oil extraction industries. Wage growth was 46% in these categories.
· Rapid public administration wage growth has caused the pay gap between the average public servants and the average worker in the economy to grow considerably. In 1998, the average annual wage for federal public administration workers was approximately $10, 000 higher than the average worker in the economy. By 2009, that gap had grown to $25, 000.
· If wage growth for public administration workers had been modestly restrained to the same levels as the other industries in the economy that had the next highest rate of wage growth, the public administration wage bill in Canada would have been $2.6 billion smaller in 2009.
“The interesting thing is not just that public administration wages are rising faster than the average worker in the economy, it is that no other major industry tracked by Statistics Canada comes close to matching public administration in terms of wage growth,” says the study’s author Ben Eisen. “Growth in the wage gap between public servants and the average worker in the economy over time is not necessarily objectionable. There are a number of benign potential explanations. The size of the gap, however, between wage growth for this one category of workers and all other categories tracked by Statistics Canada is striking. Future research should carefully examine the causes to determine if we are overpaying for government labour. ”
Download a copy of Public Administration Wage Growth HERE.
For more information and to arrange an interview with the study’s author, media (only) should contact: