Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

Public Sector Employment and Gender Wage Inequalities in British Columbia: Assessing the Effects of a Shrinking Public Sector

Document type Article
Author Fuller, Sylvia
Journal The Canadian Journal of Sociology
Volume 30
Date 2005
ISSN 1710-1123
Pages 405-439


The public sector is an important employer of women in Canada, particularly at the provincial level. As a result, recent initiatives to cut employment in this sector have the potential to impact broader gender inequalities in the labour market. This study uses data from the Labour Force Survey to estimate provincial-level public and private sector wage differentials in British Columbia for men and women, and to assess the degree to which declines in public sector employment in B.C. may affect the overall gender wage gap. Results confirm that provincial public sector employment is both relatively more prevalent and advantageous for women than for men. Substantial declines in employment in this sector therefore have the potential to noticeably increase the gender wage gap.