A recent report from Statistics Canada with the exciting title "Work Absence Rates 2010" tells us that Canadian employees missed about 14% percent more time from work in 2010 than in 2000 (an average of 9.1 days per year in 2010, up from 8.0 in 2000).

Tellingly, the absence rates among public sector workers are significantly higher than those in the private sector (11.8 days vs. 8.2 days on average), a 44% difference.

Although there are undoubtedly many explanations for the differences, including higher rates of unionization among public sector workers, this will undoubtedly fuel further calls for tighter controls in the public sector in an era of fiscal restraint.