Just before the pandemic began, the Bank of Canada conducted the 2020 Wage-Setting Survey. The goal was to explore the unusual trend of subdued wage growth in 2018 and 2019 despite a tightening in the labour market. Although this wage puzzle was beginning to resolve at the time of the survey, results highlight changes in several factors that may have important impacts on wage dynamics.
Staff analytical notes
Shocks to a currency area can and often do have asymmetric impacts on its regions that, in the absence of perfect labour mobility, lead to gaps in relative labour market performance. Witness, for example, the effects of the 2008/09 recession and subsequent financial crisis in Europe on the dispersion of employment rates across the euro area – and to a lesser extent the United States.
Staff discussion papers
The Business Outlook Survey (BOS) has become an important part of monetary policy deliberations at the Bank of Canada and is also well known in Canadian policy and financial circles. This paper compiles more than 20 years of experience conducting the BOS and serves as a comprehensive reference manual.
What’s Up with Unit Non-Response in the Bank of Canada’s Business Outlook Survey? The Effect of Staff TenureSince 1997, the Bank of Canada’s regional offices have been conducting the Business Outlook Survey (BOS), a quarterly survey of business conditions. Survey responses are gathered through face-to-face, confidential consultations with a sample of private sector firms representative of the various sectors, firm sizes and regions across Canada.
The Bank of Canada conducted a Wage Setting Survey with a sample of 200 private sector firms from mid-October 2007 to May 2008. Results indicate that wage adjustments for the Canadian non-union private workforce are overwhelmingly time dependent, with a fixed duration of one year, and are clustered in the first four months of the year, suggesting that wage stickiness may not be constant over the year.
Staff working papers
Using census data at the economic region level from 1991 to 2006 and a gravity model framework, this paper examines the factors that influence migration within Canada.
In many mainstream macroeconomic models, sticky prices play an important role in explaining the effects of monetary policy on the economy.
This paper surveys the literature on the zero bound on the nominal interest rate. It addresses questions ranging from the conditions under which the zero bound on the nominal interest rate might occur to policy options to avoid or use to exit from such a situation. We discuss literature that examines historical and country evidence, and literature that uses models to generate evidence on this question.
Bank of Canada Review articles
May 16, 2013 Understanding the factors that determine the migration of labour between regions is crucial for assessing the economy’s response to macroeconomic shocks and identifying policies that will encourage an efficient reallocation of labour. By examining the determinants of migration within Canada from 1991 to 2006, this article provides evidence that regional differences in employment rates and household incomes tend to increase labour migration, and that provincial borders and language differences are barriers to migration.
December 23, 2004 To better understand price-setting behaviour in the Canadian economy, the Bank of Canada's regional offices surveyed a representative sample of 170 firms between July 2002 and March 2003. The authors discuss the reasons behind the survey, the methodology used to develop the questionnaire and conduct the interviews, and summarize the results. The study also assessed several explanations for holding prices steady despite market pressures for a change. The survey findings indicate that prices in Canada are relatively flexible and have become more flexible over the past decade. Price stickiness was generally found to originate in firms' fears of antagonizing customers or disturbing the goodwill or reputation developed with them. A detailed discussion of the results includes a consideration of their implications for monetary policy.
November 15, 2000 This article first outlines the activities of the Bank's regional offices and looks at how regional economic analysis fits into the Bank's decision-making process. The changing role of the regional offices in communications and in information gathering is examined, focusing on the quarterly surveys of industries and associations. The second section reviews, from a regional perspective, economic developments since the Asian crisis and future prospects.