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Tuesday, 19 February 1980
Page: 82

Mr Barry Jones (LALOR, VICTORIA) asked the Treasurer, upon notice, on 21 August 1 979:

Can he say what proportion of the total work force is employed in Government work (including quangos or thenequivalents) in (a) the United States of America, (b) the United Kingdom, (c) Sweden, (d) France, (e) Australia and (f) New Zealand.

Mr Howard -The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

It is not possible to provide the information requested on a fully consistent and up to date basis. The only readily available information is contained in the OECD publication Public Expenditure Trends, published in June 1978. The following table shows estimates of the relative size of public sector employment in each of the countries requested:



The honourable member's attention is drawn to footnote * of the table which stresses that comparisons across countries on the basis of the data presented in the table are hazardous because of the large conceptual differences among countries' definitions of their public sectors. The OECD has advised that the definition of the Australia public sector, because it includes public authorities and companies, is somewhat broader than those adopted in most other countries shown in the table, which exclude some or all such authorities. The table does, however, permit more meaningful comparisons to be made of movements over time for individual countries.

The Australian Statistician has advised that the proportion of the total Australian civilian labour force employed by the government sector in June 1979 was approximately 23 per cent. Government sector employment includes, in addition to administrative employees, other employees of government bodies (Commonwealth, State, local and semigovernment) on services such as railways, road transport, Banks, postal and telecommunications, air transport, education (including universities, colleges of advanced education, etc.), radio, television, police, public works, factories, marketing authorities, public hospitals (other than those run by charitable or religious organisations) and departmental hospitals and institutions.

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