Rising Employment Ratio Should Quash Concerns Over Canada's Economic Health - Analysis from The School of Public Policy

CALGARY, Nov. 4, 2013 /CNW/ - There are plenty of ways to measure the health of a country's economy. Different metrics will yield different conclusions, which is why there are mixed reports on the overall state of Canada's economy.

In an analysis published today by The School of Public Policy, Ron Kneebone and Margarita Gres argue that a simple, comprehensive measure of economic success is the proportion of a community's working age population that is employed, or its employment ratio.

Based on this metric, Canada is demonstrated to be performing extremely well on the global stage, especially when compared to the U.S.

Using data on the 10 Canadian provinces and 11 OECD countries, the authors find that since 1996, "all Canadian provinces, with the exception of Ontario and British Columbia, have climbed the league chart and so improved their economic performance relative to international competition."

A real shocker is the performance of the labour market in the U.S. There, the employment ratio ranked 3rd amongst the measured jurisdictions in 1996, and has plunged to 18th place in just 15 years.

"If these trends continue the employment ratio of even the weakest performer in the Canadian economy - the rapidly improving labour market in Newfoundland & Labrador - will soon surpass the ratio in the United States," they write.

The authors laud Newfoundland & Labrador for a tremendous turn around in their employment ratio. In 1976, the provincial number sat below 50 per cent; today 65 per cent of the workforce is employed, which Kneebone and Gres attribute to the development of off-shore oil fields.

Across the Canadian provinces, Kneebone and Gres highlight the strong performance of Alberta where the employment ratio went from a respectable 70 per cent in 1976, to as high as 80 per cent in 2008. The numbers in Saskatchewan and Manitoba have both been on steady inclines over the last few decades and currently sit around 77 per cent.

The full analysis is available at http://www.policyschool.ucalgary.ca/?q=blog

SOURCE: The School of Public Policy - University of Calgary

For further information:

Media Contact:

Morten Paulsen
Phone: 403.399.3377
Email: morten@paulsengroup.ca

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The School of Public Policy - University of Calgary

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