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October 2001     Vol. 2, no. 10

After the layoff

Diane Galarneau and Lori M. Stratychuk

  • From 1993 to 1997, the time taken to find a new job after a layoff declined. In 1993, only 27% of individuals who had been permanently laid off that year managed to find another job within three months, compared with 47% in 1997. This reflects the more favourable economic conditions at the end of the period, and a more rapid adjustment by workers.
  • A strong link was found between the duration of joblessness and age. Men under 35 and women under 25 had the best chances of finding a new job after a layoff; however, the chances decreased with age. Women's chances were always worse than men's in the corresponding age group. Men aged 55 and over had a 66% lower chance of finding a job than men aged 16 to 24, whereas women aged 55 and over had a 77% lower chance.
  • Individuals living alone and those without children-two factors likely to increase mobility-increased the chances of finding a new job by 30% and 24% respectively.
  • Professionals and managers had the best chances of finding a new job after a layoff, whereas clerks, salespersons and people working in the service industry had the lowest. The chances were also less for those laid off from a long-held job (at least five years).
  • Receipt of EI benefits tended to increase the duration of joblessness. Because the duration of benefits is limited under the program, the effect disappeared after a year.
  • One year after a layoff, one in five individuals were unemployed, either because they had not found or had lost a new job. The proportion ranged from a high of 25% for individuals laid off in 1993 to a low of 15% for those laid off in 1996.


Diane Galarneau is with the Labour Statistics Division. She can be reached at (613) 951-4626 or

Lori M. Stratychuk is with the Household Survey Methods Division. She can be reached at (613) 951-0380 or

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