Workers in the private sector are making up to $8,150 less per year, even while they’re working up to six hours more per week, says a wage report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

Meanwhile, in the public sector, workers making 18% to 37% more, with average salaries, benefits and working hours all factored in—Canada Post and federal government employees are the biggest beneficiaries.


“The public-private wage gap is the elephant in every room when it comes to setting the public policy agenda in this country,” says Ted Mallett, chief economist and vice-president at CFIB.

“Public sector earnings have been allowed to drift well above market-tested norms,” even while “governments are looking for ways to invest in infrastructure and other priorities.”

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The report suggests the wage gap between the two sectors must be addressed. In fact, it adds, if government workers were paid the same amount as their private sector equivalents, taxpayers would save billions each year.

Based chiefly on National Household Survey returns from 2011, the findings of the report represent average full-time employment earnings for more than 7.2 million Canadians. However, occupations that don’t exist in both sectors were excluded.

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