Public sector employment was down slightly in the second quarter of 2011, according to Statistics Canada. There were 3.6 million government workers in the third quarter, down 12,000 (0.3 per cent) from the second quarter.
The decline was mainly the result of the layoff of temporary workers hired for the 2011 census program. Employment in the federal general government, which fell by 16,000 (3.6 per cent), declined in all provinces and territories.
In addition, the number of employees in local general government fell by 4,000 (0.6 per cent). Employment in universities and colleges edged down for the third consecutive quarter, bringing the employment to 383,000, about 7,000 below its peak in the fourth quarter 2010, said Statistics Canada.
Employment in health and social services institutions continued its upward trend with a 0.4-per-cent increase from the second quarter, while employment in provincial general government rose 0.3 per cent. Employment in this sector has remained virtually the same since the first quarter of 2009, in contrast to an upward trend between 2004 and 2008.
Public sector employees represented 20.2 per cent of total employment in Canada in the third quarter. This proportion has declined slowly since the third quarter of 2009, reversing an upward trend that started in 2007.
The three levels of general government (federal, provincial and territorial, and local) accounted for 38.4 per cent of total public sector employment in the third quarter. Educational institutions represented 29.2 per cent, followed by health and social service institutions at 23.7 per cent and government business enterprises at 8.8 per cent, said StatsCan.
Total public sector wages and salaries declined 0.3 per cent between the third quarter of 2010 and third quarter of 2011.
Public sector employment – seasonally adjusted
Second quarter 2011
Third quarter 2011
Second quarter to third quarter 2011
per cent change
Provincial and territorial
Universities and colleges1
Health and social service institutions
Government business enterprises
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