The Growing Opportunity of Public Sector
Jun 06, 2012
How competitive is public sector staffing? Let’s start with the size of the pie – 24% is the average percentage of employees in the public sector in Canada (March 2012). The USA tends to be in the high teens with developing country average around 23% (Bureau of Statistics). This means that one in four or five positions in Canada/USA are a public job: government, Crown Corporation, university, hospital and so forth.
As in any business, even public sector jobs, if you are employee heavy the cost of the services increases. In Canada PEI has the highest percentage of public sector workers at 34%. Alberta is the lowest at 19%, and the only region to fall below the 20% range. Not only is there opportunity in the public sector there is growing opportunity. Since March 2011 Canada has seen increases in public sector jobs of 1% (private sector jobs increased 2%). In provinces like British Columbia and Quebec the public sector employee growth over the last year is greater than that of the private sector by double.
Considerations for public sector work do require a different approach because cultures, goals, visions and assumptions may be very different from those in the private industry. In fact suggesting you work for the government may illicit some generalizations about who person is by way of character and passion. This may impact how to approach a position, however, overcoming these may prove valuable when the public sector continues to show growth and makes up a significant portion of the workforce.
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Bureau of Statistics: http://www.ilo.org/public/english/bureau/stat/download/wp_pse_e.pdf