The labour force in Canada is in much better shape than it is for its U.S. neighbours, with burgeoning oil prices and housing starts contributing to Canada’s numbers.
According to The Star in Vancouver, a Statistics Canada study which looks at labour market stats in both countries since 2000, showed both Canada and the U.S. were affected by a recession around 2008, but the impacts were definitely not the same. Over the study period, the U.S. employment rate fell from 81 to 79 per cent, while in Canada it rose from 80 to 82 per cent. Average wages also rose in Canada, while they fell in the U.S.
After the 2008 recession, housing starts suffered immeasurably stateside and they were lower than that last year. Although Canada’s housing builds were as adversely affected in 2008, they have boomed since – especially in Vancouver and Toronto.
The construction sector has an especially significant impact on the employment of men without a university degree, the study noted. This group saw a decline in manufacturing jobs in both countries since 2000, and while those jobs were replaced in Canada by the construction industry, they weren’t replaced in the states.
University of British Columbia economist Thomas Lemieux said the U.S. may also have more significant problems than Canada when it comes to precarious contract work.
“(Canada) still has a significant advantage compared to other countries that are closing their doors,” Lemieux said, adding the downside is that firms will likely find more workers abroad rather than spend time training young Canadians.