"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Special for @whiff83...

... and anyone else who somehow simultaneously imagines that they are fiscally conservative, yet support the NDP government of Danny Williams and Kathy Dunderdale.

This chart shows the three-year rolling average (to smooth out a bit of lumpiness and tease out the mid-term trends) of provincial public-sector employment as a share of all employment, in any given province, at any time since Statistics Canada started counting. "Provincial public-sector employment" includes the direct provincial civil service, the public secondary and post-secondary education system, the public health-care system, and provincial crown corporations.

For as long as Statistics Canada has been counting, Newfoundland and Labrador has always had the proportionately largest provincial public sector workforce. However, under the current "conservative" government, even that already-large public sector has grown to a size never before seen in any other province... not even the "socialist" NDP ones. By 2011, one in four people employed in the province was employed by the provincial government, a school board, a university or college, a health care board, or a provincial crown corporation.

And this, despite a "conservative" government which came to power pledging to decrease the size of the public-sector payroll through attrition. It's remarkable, what a couple of strikes — and a scary hit in the quarterly CRA poll — can do to change your deeply-rooted fiscally-conservative beliefs.

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At 1:28 PM, May 22, 2012 , Blogger B Pynn said...

I don't dispute your numbers or analysis but I can't help but wonder where the ~8000 extra public employees have been added since 2006 (number from the March 25 "Unrestrained" post of yours). As a taxpayer and citizen that growth worries me but given that my wife and I are both public employees I'm torn when it comes to damning it too loudly. We're pre-2006 hires so don't blame us... :-)

I certainly don't see the growth where I work and my wife can't even access her banked annual leave because they don't have sufficient staff to cover her position. I was surprised by the 1.1% increase quoted for post secondary from 2010 to 2011. In raw numbers, how does a 1.1% uptick in post secondary compare to the 1.4% increase in health care?

I guess I'm left wondering if the growth is predominently in front line areas or in management. How does the establishment of Nalcor factor in? I don't know the StatsCan data has info that discrete but it would be great if you could do some follow up in that regard.

At 1:49 PM, May 22, 2012 , Blogger WJM said...

The 2004 to 2011 approximate change in the provincial public sector, on an annualized basis, breaks down as follows (rounded to nearest 100):

Provincial government (i.e., civil service): +2000

Crown corps: +100

Health care system: +2600

Post-secondary education: +2400

School boards: +200

Annualized, it's not quite 8,000. I think one of the same-quarter to same-quarter comparisons was closer to 8,000, but I prefer the annual averages.


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