Share of Government Employment in Labor Force Across OECD Countries

The chart below shows the share of general government employment in total labor force across OECD countries:

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Source: Bringing French Public Debt Down: The options for fiscal consolidation by Balázs Égert, OECD

The Scandinavian countries of Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway have the highest percentage of government workers relative to the total labor force. This is not surprising since they follow the ultra-socialist form of government and have very high tax rates. The governments there are considered as “employer of the last resort” where a citizen will get a job should they be unsuccessful in securing a job in the private sector.

Excluding Scandinavian countries,  France has the largest workforce in government employment with over  with over 20% of the total workforce in the public sector. However the public-sector efficiency is very low. As a result the French government gets less productivity despite government expenditures in relation to GDP staying very high year-after-year.

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