Public employment has many aspects depending on the level one is considering. It has a role in national economy and national employment, in the public sector generally, and at the level of public institutions such as ministries and agencies. This entry describes the nature of public employment and its significance in government and society. The role of public employment varies substantially depending on the role of the state in society. In countries following the model of a welfare state, such as the Nordic countries, the share of public sector and public employment can be quite high—30% of the national economy or even higher. Any numerical estimation of the size of public employment involves a number of assumptions. For example, it is important to know what percentage of public employment is composed of those employed by the armed forces, because this share of employment is considered to be outside the working ...