Provincial Productivity Widely Divergent: Newfoundland Leads, Alberta Trails



    OTTAWA, May 27 /CNW Telbec/ - Newfoundland, perhaps surprisingly, boasted
the highest productivity growth in the ten years to 2007 while Alberta ranked
last among Canada's ten provinces, a new study reveals.
    The Ottawa-based Centre for the Study of Living Standards based its
findings on new data produced by Statistics Canada for use by the non-profit
economic research organization.
    In a departure from previous comparisons of productivity by province,
this study uses best practice methodologies to take into account changes in
labour quality and capital composition, points out executive director of the
Centre, Dr. Andrew Sharpe, who co-authored the report with Jean-Francois
Arsenault, economist at the Centre.
    The study reveals that Newfoundland experienced by far the most rapid
growth in all three areas assessed - labour productivity, capital productivity
and multifactor productivity - placing it well ahead of all other provinces.
Alberta, by contrast, experienced the worst growth for the three productivity
measures. For example, multifactor productivity advanced at a 4.1 per cent
average annual rate in Newfoundland from 1997 to 2007, compared with -1.6 per
cent per year in Alberta.
    The authors ascribe the gap in productivity growth between the two
provinces to the oil and gas sector with Newfoundland benefiting from
conventional oil and gas extraction while Alberta suffered from an industry
shift to labour and capital-intensive oil sands exploitation. Multifactor
productivity performance in the mining and oil and gas sector alone increased
by 18.8 per cent annually in Newfoundland versus a 7.4 per cent drop in
Alberta.
    Similarly, Newfoundland's labour productivity growth, at 4.8 per cent per
year, was nearly three times the national average, and more than double that
of Manitoba, which showed the second fastest advance, at 2.1 per cent. Alberta
trailed with the weakest labour productivity growth of 1.0 per cent.

    The study is published in the Spring 2009 issue of the International
Productivity Monitor, which can be viewed at www.csls.ca/ipm.asp
    The issue also contains a survey of the relationship between education
and productivity, and a symposium on the recently released Council of Canadian
Academies Expert Panel Report on business innovation in Canada.




For further information:

For further information: Paulette Roberge, (613) 271-6398, (613)
302-2519, pgroberge@hotmail.com

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CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF LIVING STANDARDS

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