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Government drives job growth across Canada, says Fraser Institute report

Public sector jobs in Ontario grew more than twice the rate than private sector over three-year span
(Pexels, Polina Zimmerman)

Since on the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, government has been outpacing the private sector in job growth in all 10 provinces.

In Ontario, government sector jobs – federally, provincially and locally – grew at more than twice the rate than private sector jobs from February 2020 to June 2023, according to a new study released by the Fraser Institute public policy think-tank.

Ontario’s public sector job growth was 11.7 per cent, compared to 4.7 per cent in the private sector.

Prince Edward Island led the nation in government job growth at 27.6 per cent, followed by B.C. at 22.6 per cent. Ontario ranked sixth after New Brunswick, Newfoundland-Labrador and Saskatchewan. 

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“When governments talk about the employment sector following COVID-19, it is important to understand where additional jobs have been created, in the government sector or the private sector,” said Ben Eisen, senior follow at Fraser and co-author of the report.

“In Ontario’s case, a disproportionate share of the new jobs in the province have been government jobs, and not jobs created in a thriving private sector.”

Nationally, the report said the number of government-sector jobs jumped 11.8 per cent, while the number of private sector jobs increased 3.3 per cent.

BC had the slowest rate of private sector job growth at 0.3 per cent.

Alberta had the lowest rate of government sector job growth at 8.9 per cent, and the fastest rate of private sector job growth at 6.2 per cent.