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
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
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