While demographic change has been an ongoing process in Canada, labour market implications of an aging population will become more acute in coming years. This article discusses the anticipated slowing in the growth of trend labour input over the coming decades with the aging of the baby boomers, declining fertility rates, and the stabilization of the labour force attachment of women. As the pool of labour shrinks, employers and governments will be looking for ways to address barriers to continued labour force participation and firms will have a greater incentive to find ways of improving labour productivity.
Dion examines the evolution of Canadian productivity since the mid-1990s, using the United States as a benchmark. During this period, trend productivity growth in Canada remained modest, whereas the U.S. witnessed a strong resurgence. Among the factors identified as potential root causes of Canada's lower productivity performance are a lower investment in information and communications technology, reallocation and adjustment costs associated with large relative price movements, and a weak demand for innovation.
Allen and Engert report on recent research at the Bank of Canada on various aspects of efficiency in the Canadian banking industry. This research suggests that, overall, Canadian banks appear to be relatively efficient producers of financial services and they do not exercise monopoly or collusive-oligopoly power. The authors note the value of continuing to investigate opportunities to improve efficiency and competition in financial services in Canada.