With 101 provincial government employees per 1,000 residents, Nova Scotia has a large public sector by Canadian standards, and the second-largest in the Atlantic region. The national average is 83 per 1,000.

Since 1997, Nova Scotia’s public sector has grown considerably, from 86 employees per 1,000 residents to 101 – a 18 percent increase. Over this period, the national average rose 10 percent. P.E.I. and New Brunswick sectors have shrunk since 2010. NL roughly equals its 2010 number, having peaked in 2012. Nova Scotia’s has grown 5 percent. Nova Scotia pays public servants, on average, $61,859 per year and employs 18 employees per 1,000 residents above the national average. Had the province employed only the average number of persons in 2015, it would have saved over a billion dollars.

  Employees per 1,000 residents Employees per 1,000 above Nat. Avg. Employees above Nat. Avg. 2015-16 Budget Deficit (Millions) Cost of Excess Employees, per Avg. Wage (Millions)
Nova Scotia 101 18 17,437 $304 $1,079

This is a summary of our larger study. Please visit www.aims.ca/publicsector to read the full report.

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