Canada performs poorly in labour market performance: Report

All but two provinces rank in bottom half of 60 jurisdictions in North America
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 09/05/2017
Labour market, economy
Alberta ranked 55th out of 60 jurisdictions on this measure with average annual private sector employment growth of negative 0.3 per cent.​ Shutterstock

When it comes to global labour market performance, Canada has performed poorly, according to a study by the Fraser Institute.

All but two Canadian provinces are ranked in the bottom half of 60 jurisdictions, including Alberta (ranked 31st, with an index score of 52.9 out of 100) and Ontario (ranked 44th, with a score of 47.7 out of 100).

The study calculates an Index of Labour Market Performance, which is a composite measure of labour market performance based on five equally weighted indicators:

  • average total employment growth
  • average private sector employment growth
  • average unemployment rate
  • average long-term unemployment
  • average output per worker.

The index scores range from zero to 100. A higher index score means a jurisdiction has a stronger performing labour market while a lower index score indicates a labour market with weaker performance.

Labour markets in Canada and United States were assessed over the three-year period from 2014 to 2016.

Saskatchewan (score of 59.8, ranked 15th) and British Columbia (58.9, 17th) are the highest performing Canadian provinces, but neither is in the top 10 on the overall index, said Measuring Labour Markets in Canada and the United States: 2017 Edition.

Six out of 10 provinces are in the bottom third (lowest 20 out of 60) of the index and four of the five lowest-ranked jurisdictions are Canadian provinces: Prince Edward Island (score of 32.5, ranked 56th), New Brunswick (31.4, 57th), Nova Scotia (31.3, 58th), and Newfoundland & Labrador (30.3, 59th).

The results for Canada’s four most populous provinces (Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and British Columbia) are not encouraging, said the Fraser Institute. Ontario and Quebec both ranked in the bottom half of jurisdictions on all indicators with the exception of average long-term unemployment.

British Columbia fared better, ranking in the top half of jurisdictions on each indicator but never ranking in the top 10, said the institute. A notable result for Alberta is its low private sector employment growth: Alberta ranked 55th out of 60 jurisdictions on this measure with average annual private sector employment growth of negative 0.3 per cent.

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