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Federal spending on staff grew rapidly during pandemic: parliamentary budget officer

April 4, 2023
The Canadian Press

(Deyan/Adobe Stock)

The parliamentary budget officer says the federal government’s spending on employees saw record growth during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A newly published report says federal spending on personnel increased by almost 31 per cent between the 2019-20 and 2021-22 fiscal years.

Spending on salaries, pensions and other employee compensation rose from $46.3 billion to $60.7 billion over that time period.

The report says the public service expanded by the equivalent of 31,227 full-time employees between April 2020 and March 2022, with the government spending an average of 6.6 per cent more on each full-time worker.


The Parliamentary Budget Office says the increase in salaries was the largest contributor to the rise in total compensation, but spending on pensions, overtime and bonuses also grew at a faster rate.

The PBO says expenditure could rise further, with 26 out of 28 bargaining groups currently negotiating collective agreements.

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