Which countries have the largest public sector workforces? According to the OECD's Government at a Glance report, the size of a government's workforce is determined by many factors, such as the type of activities it carries out and the way it delivers its public services. That means some countries are far more reliant on public sector workers than others. The OECD's report found that Scandinavia leads the world in government employment while in Asia, the share is far smaller.
In 2015, 30 percent of Norway's total workforce was employed by the government. Denmark came second with a 29.1 percent share while Sweden and Finland also had large shares of 28.6 and 24.9 percent respectively. On the other side of the Atlantic, the public sector accounted for 15.3 percent of the U.S. workforce and 18.2 percent of total workers in Canada. Asian countries tend to have a far smaller share of government workers. In South Korea, 7.6 percent of the total workforce is public sector and in Japan, the share is just 5.9 percent.