October 28th, 2020

SACPA to discuss Alta. public-service employees

By Mabell, Dave on December 19, 2019.

Lethbridge Herald

Alberta’s new government says the province has too many public-service employees, and has begun layoffs in a number of departments.

But in reality, an economics professor says Alberta has tended to have a proportionately smaller public sector in comparison with larger provinces like British Columbia and Ontario.

And while they’re working in a high-wage province, he adds, public-sector employees in Alberta tend to earn relatively less than their counterparts in other provinces.

Richard Mueller, a University of Lethbridge professor of economics since 2000, will outline his findings during today’s session of the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs.

“Alberta does not really stand out in any way relative to the other three large provinces,” he says.

Mueller is also an associate director of the Educational Policy Research Institute at the University of Ottawa and an academic director of the Prairie Regional Research Data Centre’s branch in Lethbridge.

After earning his first two degrees at the University of Calgary and his PhD at the University of Texas in Austin, he taught at the University of Maine before returning to Alberta. More recently, he was also seconded for several years by Statistics Canada.

The SACPA session, open to all interested, includes a question-and-answer period after the presentation. It’s set for noon at the Royal Canadian Legion hall, with a hot lunch available for $14 or hot beverages for $2.

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