The purpose of this study is to compare the behaviour of regional labour markets in Canada and the United States. The study shows that the degree of persistence of unemployment is significantly higher in the provinces of Canada than it is in the various American regions. Among other things, it shows that there has been almost no change over the last 30 years in the relative ranking of Canadian provinces with respect to unemployment in contrast to what has happened in the United States. The study also uses vector autoregressive analysis (VAR) to examine how different variables behave when there is a sudden drop in employment in the average province or region of each country. It shows that, when employment falls, relative rates of unemployment and labour market participation hardly move in the United States, while in Canada, relative unemployment in the province affected rises considerably. These very different results are explained in part by the greater degree of labour mobility in the United States, a factor that may also go at least part way in explaining the current gap between Canadian and American unemployment rates.