Ontario Public Sector Employment and Wage Data

FAO Estimates of Ontario Public Sector Employment, Wage Rates and Compensation Expense


The FAO has developed historical estimates of the number of public sector employees, as well as the government’s wage and salary expense using Statistics Canada data. These estimates fills a gap in the data published by the government, which does not publish information on the employment and wage rates of the Ontario public sector, and the total wage bill of the public sector before 2016-17.

The estimate for the number of public sector workers depends on the definition of the public sector. Depending on the definition used, the estimated number of public sector employees can range from 88,000 to 1.3 million.

For the purposes of this dataset, the FAO’s definition of Ontario’s public sector workers includes broader public sector organizations consolidated in the Public Accounts. This includes the public administration sector, hospitals, school boards and colleges, but excludes other publicly funded organizations such as universities, doctors and social assistance agencies.

Based on this definition, the FAO estimates that 650,000 are workers by Ontario public employers in 2018, representing approximately 11 per cent of total employment of salaried workers in Ontario.

This includes 88,000 employees in public administration who are employed directly in Ontario government ministries, plus 341,000 workers in the education sector and 221,000 workers in the hospital sector whose salaries are largely funded by provincial government transfer payments.

Composition of Ontario's Public Sector

Source: Statistics Canada’s Survey of Employee, Payroll and Hours (SEPH), and FAO.

Browse the Data

For each of the government sectors discussed above (public adminstration, hospital workers, education workers and Ontario's total public sector), this dataset presents the FAO's estimate of employment, wage rates and total compensation expense. To browse the data, select the sector of interest and then select the metric that you wish to display. You may use your mousewheel to zoom in, and click and drag to pan.

Comparing    over Time

By Year

Source: Statistics Canada’s Survey of Employee, Payroll and Hours (SEPH), and FAO.

By Period

Source: Statistics Canada’s Survey of Employee, Payroll and Hours (SEPH), and FAO.


Comparing Across Sectors

Average Weekly Wages,  

Source: Statistics Canada’s Survey of Employee, Payroll and Hours (SEPH), and FAO.


Methodology and Notes

The FAO estimates the government’s total compensation expense using data from Statistics Canada’s Survey of Employment, Payroll and Hours, which is based on employers’ payroll information and provides for a reliable and consistent comparison over time.

This survey contains data on the number of employees and average weekly wages. The average public-sector employee’s weekly wage rate is converted to an annual value and multiplied by the total number of public sector employees, by sector, to arrive at an estimate of the government’s total compensation expense.

Based on Statistics Canada data, the Ontario government wage and salary bill is estimated to be $38 billion in 2016-17, roughly comparable to the $40 billion reported in the Ontario Public Accounts.

The FAO assumes responsibility for the accuracy of the estimates. Please send questions or comments to info@fao-on.org.