June 11, 2009 The number of job gains and losses across firms in Canada each year is roughly one-fifth the total number of jobs and generally occurs within sectors (industries) rather than across sectors. Since labour reallocation within sectors has been strongly related to productivity growth in Canada, defining the key drivers of this type of reallocation is important, given the higher rates of reallocation and productivity growth in the Untied States than in Canada. This article finds that the appreciation of the Canadian dollar and rising commodity prices led to above-average reallocation of labour across sectors over the 2005-08 period, but that the impact on productivity has been minor. Labour reallocation across firms, however, generates substantial labour productivity gains in manufacturing and the business sector as a whole.
September 15, 2008 The research findings highlighted in this article suggest that firm-size differences play a significant role in explaining the productivity gap between Canada and the United States. The authors review factors that lead to a positive relationship between productivity and size and then look at Canadian evidence of this relationship at the firm level. They quantify the extent to which the change in Canadian productivity as well as the Canada-U.S. productivity differences can be accounted for by the change in the importance of large firms and identify several factors that play a role in determining average firm size and aggregate productivity.