[OPE-L] [Jurriaan on] Estimated percentage share of public sector employment in total employment in 2004, 79 countries

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Sun Oct 09 2005 - 10:42:50 EDT

---------------------------- Original Message -------------------------
Subject: Estimated percentage share of public sector employment in total
employment in 2004, 79 countries
From:    "Jurriaan Bendien" <adsl675281@tiscali.nl>
Date:    Sun, October 9, 2005 10:25 am

The IMF claimed last year that about US $2 trillion (in today's dollars)
worth of state-owned firms have been privatized since 1980. For every
dollar a developing country owed to the IMF in the early l980s, the IMF
proudly claims it subsequently privatized state-owned assets worth roughly
50c. Thus, credit was a powerful lever for "primitive accumulation" (See:
http://www.imf.org/External/Pubs/FT/staffp/2004/02/pdf/brune.pdf ). Of
course, those assets will now be worth much more insofar as the privatised
enterprises occupy monopoly positions in the "market" (e.g. utilities),
providing a steady stream of profits to (often) foreign owners.

In connection with this, I was interested to find out, for different
countries in the world, what proportion of employment is nowadays public
sector employment. After all, there are social theorists aplenty, but
they do hardly any factual research to back up their grandiose statements.
The ILO comes to the rescue, with a new - though as yet complete - data
set, from which I can estimate the (rounded) percentage share of public
sector employment in total employment in 2004, to get some idea of the

"Total public sector employment" here covers all government employees
(central, state, local, social insurance funds) as defined in the UNSNA
1993, plus employment of publicly owned/controlled resident enterprises
and companies, operating at central, state (or regional) and local levels
of government. It covers all persons employed directly by those
institutions, without regard for the particular type of employment
contract. "Total employment" refers to the total employed labor force,
both fulltime and parttime, i.e. all those having a paid job during the
reference period. I cannot vouch for the total exactitude of the
statistics, but at least they provide some indication of magnitude:

India 69% (find this figure a bit hard to believe)
Myanmar 68%
Libya 66%
Suriname 63%
Egypt 60%
Gabon 59%
Kazakhstan 45%
Fiji 41%
Kenya 40%
Poland 40%
Lithuania 39%
Bulgaria 37%
Oman 36%
Jordan 36%
Latvia 36%
Denmark  34%
Croatia   34%
Sweden   34%
Syria   34%
Azerbaijan 32%
Slovenia  31%
Norway  31%
Malta 33%
Qatar 31%
Iran 30%
Estonia 29%
Belgium 27%
Netherlands 26%
Slovakia   26%
West Bank & Gaza Strip    26%
Moldova 26%
Martinique 25%
Zimbabwe 24%
Romania   23%
Georgia  23%
Kyrgyzstan 22%
Czech Republic 22%
Greece 22%
Belize 21%
France 21%
New Zealand  20%
UK   20%
Australia 20%
Ireland 20%
Malawi 20%
Armenia     20%
Guatemala 20%
Albania 20%
Cyprus 19%
Canada    18%
Uruguay   18%
Switzerland 17%
United States   16%
Chile 16%
Argentina  16%
Venezuela 16%
Finland   16%
Spain   16%
Mexico 15%
Italy 15%
Portugal 14%
Turkey  14%
China 13%
Ecuador 11%
Brazil 11%
El Salvador 9%
Japan 9%
Thailand   8%
Paraguay 8%
Phillipines  8%
Hong Kong  7%
Colombia 7%
Honduras 6% (est)
Bolivia 5% (est)
Ukraine  4% (est)
Indonesia 4% (est)
Ethiopia 3%
Uganda 3%
Madagascar 2%

It's interesting to correlate this data with other official variables, such
as GDP per capita and exports/GDP, and you will see clearly that there is
no real relationship between the wealth or productivity of a population,
and the size of its public sector in employment terms. This "market
fantasy" is mainly just bunkum. The real argument is about who controls
the source of the profits from that employment.


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