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Side menu bar Catalogue Number 75-001-XIE Table of contents Latest issue News from The Daily Latest data Survey information Back issues Feedback Studies Latest issue in PDF

May 2006
Vol. 7, no. 5

Perspectives on Labour and Income

Unemployment since 1971
René Morissette and Feng Hou

  • For men aged 25 to 34 with less than high school education, the unemployment rate increased by fully 7 percentage points between 1971 and 2005. For those with a high school diploma, the rise was 3 points. At the other end of the spectrum, university graduates saw a rise of only 1 point.
  • Among women aged 25 to 34 with no high school diploma, the unemployment rate grew 6 percentage points between 1971 and 2005. For those with more education, rates rose by roughly 2 points.
  • Because the unemployment increases occurred while the Canadian labour force was becoming more educated and experienced, the overall unemployment rate did not trend upwards over the last three decades. However, had these changes not taken place, the unemployment rates of both men and women would have risen, all else equal, between 1971 and 2005.

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The authors are with the Business and Labour Market Analysis Division. René Morissette can be reached at (613) 951-3608, Feng Hou can be reached at (613) 951-4337 or both at

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