News from The Daily
Measurement issues in comparing Canadian and US productivity levels
The estimate of the relative Canada/US productivity level is sensitive to the assumptions one makes. If one assumes export and import prices are translated directly from one currency to another by the exchange rate (the law of one price), the overall Canadian economy was only about 94% as productive as that of the United States in 1999. If one allows for a 10 percentage-point deviation from this assumption, then the productivity gap disappears.
Role of productivity in the output gap between Canada and the United States
Canada's economic output per person is lower than that in the United States but it is not primarily because Canadians are less productive. Between 1994 and 2002, Canadian GDP per capita averaged only 83% that of GDP per capita in the United States. This gap in output comes primarily from lower levels of labour input, that is, Canadians work fewer hours per job, and are less likely to have a job.
Tourism employment in rural Canada
Tourism accounted for about 3% of total employment in Canada's predominantly rural regions in 2003, about the same as it did for the economy as a whole. Rural regions of the Atlantic provinces had the largest growth in tourism employment between 1996 and 2003.
Labour Force Survey
Employment increased by an estimated 34,000 in December, pushing the unemployment rate down 0.3 percentage points to 7.0%, the lowest since May 2001. Following a slow start early in the year, employment picked up momentum in the second quarter and over the last four months of 2004.
Rural-urban income gap
Average incomes in Canada's rural population increased in every province during the past two decades, in many cases at a faster rate than average incomes in urban areas.
Employer pension plans (trusteed pension funds)
Trusteed pension funds continued their long climb back from the financial low point set in March 2003. Over the 15 months to June 2004, fund assets increased nearly 24%, from $531.2 billion to $656.1 billion, a new record high.
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