September 24, 2009
Manitoba’s Public Sector is Larger, More Expensive Than Most
Despite their similar demographics and geographic locations, there are important differences between the structure of the public sectors in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Comparing Manitoba to Saskatchewan and other Canadian Provinces:
• Per capita, Manitoba employs signifi cantly more provincial public servants than most provinces (but also employs fewer municipal employees than the Canadian average).
• Only PEI employs more provincial public servants per capita than Manitoba.
• Per capita, Saskatchewan employs slightly fewer provincial public servants than Manitoba (but slightly more municipal public servants).
• The public sector “pay premium” for both the provincial and municipal levels of government is larger in Manitoba than in any other province. This means that the gap between the average pay of government employees and the average pay of all other workers is larger in Manitoba than anywhere else in the country.
• If Manitoba’s rate of public sector employment were brought into line with the national average, the province would save $370 million each and every year. Put another way, provincial public sector employment in excess of the national average costs the average Manitoban approximately $320 in taxes each year.
• In Saskatchewan, reducing provincial public sector employment to the level of the national average would save taxpayers over $200 million per year.
• In the Maritime provinces, comparably signifi cant savings for taxpayers could be achieved by bringing the size of their public services into line with the national average. For example, Newfoundland, a province with a population of just 500,000, spends $125 million each year more than they would pay if the size of the province’s public service were reduced to match the national average.
• Quebec spends more than any other province on additional provincial employees, and would save over $400 million per year if its provincial public administration employment rate was reduced to the national average.
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