MONTREAL -- A new study in Quebec finds that government employees have greater access to different benefits than those working in the private sector.

The study, published Tuesday by the Fraser Institute, finds that in 2018, a government employee's salary averaged 9.2 per cent higher than someone doing a similar job in the private sector.

In addition, public sector employees also enjoy more non-wage-related benefits -- 90.8 per cent have a defined pension plan that offers a guaranteed level of retirement benefits, compared to just 11.8 per cent in the private sector.

This allows Quebec public servants to retire three years earlier.

They are also 10 times less likely to lose their jobs than those in the private sector. Plus, Quebec public servants take more personal days – 16.9 days compared to the private sector, at 10.2 days.

Nevertheless, Vincent Geloso, a senior fellow with the Fraser Institute and associate professor of economics at King's University College in London, Ont., points out government departments in Quebec must offer competitive compensation to attract qualified employees.

He adds that while there is insufficient data to draw firm conclusions, it is undeniable that wages and benefits in the public and private domain are out of step – something previous Fraser Institute studies have noted over the years.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2020.