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Does "job leavers" include retirements? If so, that might explain part of the higher public sector job leaver rates; you don't get laid off, so ultimately you retire?

One thing that might be going on in the public sector is that people don't get let go all that often. I suspect in other jobs people get laid off rather than leave. Also, the public sector has relatively good severance pay, and very high rates of EI eligibility. This data only covers people who are laid off and haven't found another job yet - a minimum wage worker with no severance package and no EI eligibility doesn't have the luxury of waiting to take something.

Also age and gender differences might explain part of it.

Also I suspect in the private sector there may be quite a few direct job-to-job moves - people don't leave their job until they've got something else. Those aren't captured in your data.

Nick: No, the current labour force status is reported as 'unemployed'. If they were retired, it would be 'not in labour force.'

Frances: That's what I was thinking as well. A public sector worker is probably more likely to be in a position to accept a short transition in and out out unemployment during what is essentially a job-to-job transition.

Do public sector numbers break down by subfield? You might be seeing seasonal unemployment, for example in education with supply teachers that are unemployed over the summer.

No, I can't break it down further than that. There are data by industry, but then you lose the public/private distinction.

But there is a huge seasonal spike in public sector layoffs in July; those are presumably teachers. There's also a seasonal spike in public sector hires in May (summer jobs?) and again in September (probably teachers again).

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