A Canada-US Comparison of Labour Market Conditions

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In this note, we provide a brief comparison of the recent developments in the labour markets in Canada and the United States. Our analysis indicates that slack remains in the Canadian labour market, while the US labour market is close to full employment. Canada’s negative labour input gap reflects weak average hours worked, whereas aggregate employment is getting close to its trend. In the United States, in contrast to Canada, both the level of employment and average hours worked are currently estimated to be at trend. The decomposition of the growth of average hours worked for Canada suggests that its overall decline is broad-based within each type of work (full-time/part-time), worker characteristics (region/age/sex) and sector (goods/services).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.34989/san-2017-4