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November 2003     Vol. 4, no. 11

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Public infrastructure and the performance of the Canadian economy

Canada's publicly owned infrastructure has a tangible impact on the productivity and the economic performance of the business sector.

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Businesses with employees

There were966,236businesses with employees in the third quarter of2003, a slight0.07% less than in the second quarter. The decline affected all regions but the Prairies and British Columbia.

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Research and development personnel

The number of people employed in research and development activities has increased by about one-third during the past decade.

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Labour Force Survey

Employment rose by an estimated65,000in October, almost all in full-time jobs. Since the start of2003, employment has grown by1.0%. The unemployment rate fell0.4percentage points in October to7.6%.

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Provincial and territorial economic accounts

Economic growth rates for 2002 have been revised upward for five provinces. The revised estimates show that real gross domestic product for 2002 increased faster than initially estimated in all four Eastern provinces and in British Columbia.

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Foreign control in the Canadian economy

Foreign control in the Canadian economy declined for the second straight year in2000, returning to levels recorded a decade earlier.

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Business conditions in manufacturing

Following a summer with a major blackout, a case of mad cow disease and an increasingly strong dollar, manufacturers were more upbeat about fourth quarter production and employment prospects.

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Gross domestic product

Economic activity contracted sharply in August, largely the result of the blackout in Ontario. Gross domestic product plummeted0.7%.

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Impact of the Ontario-US power outage on hours worked

An estimated2.4million workers in Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec, lost26.4million hours of work time in the second half of August because of the Ontario-US power outage and subsequent conservation period.

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Knowledge workers in Canada's workforce

The proportion of knowledge workers increased steadily over the last three decades, reflecting a growth trend that began long before the high-tech boom of the1990s.

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Savers, investors and investment income

The number of Canadians reporting investment income and the amount of income they received both fell sharply in2002.

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Employment Insurance

The estimated number of Canadians receiving regular Employment Insurance benefits in August increased 1.0% from July to588,890, marking the seventh consecutive monthly rise.

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Industrial diversity of Canadian cities

The average Canadian city became more industrially diverse from1992to2002. However, it was generally in small and medium-sized cities that diversity increased. /Daily/English/031027/d031027c.htmPayroll employment, earnings and hours

The estimated average weekly earnings of payroll employees declined0.5% in August. The overall decrease offset increases recorded in the two previous months and was driven mainly by declines in the manufacturing sector in Ontario and Quebec.

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Registered retirement savings plan contributions

The number of Canadians who contributed to a registered retirement savings plan and the amount of their contributions have both dropped sharply in 2002 for the second straight year.

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Consumer Price Index

Consumers paid2.2% more in September for the goods and services included in the Consumer Price Index basket than they did in September2002. September's 12-month increase remains well below the recent highs of early2003, when energy prices, and especially gasoline prices, were providing the bulk of the upward pressure.

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