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How Much of Canada's Unemployment Is Structural?

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Author Info

  • Lin, Zhengxi
  • Osberg, Lars

Abstract

This paper starts from the definition that "structural unemployment occurs when workers are unable to fill available jobs because they lack the skills, do not live where jobs are available, or are unwilling to work at the wage rate offered in the market." This implies that the number of vacancies in the Canadian labour market is an upper bound to the extent of "structural unemployment". The paper summarizes available estimates of the vacancy rate in Canada. In the high technology sector, vacancies may be equivalent to 2.2% of the labour force but evidence from more representative surveys indicates a range of 0.43% to 0.75% for the economy as a whole. Although during the 1980s the outward shift in the relationship between the Help-Wanted Index and the unemployment rate raised concerns that structural unemployment was an increasing problem in Canada, that shift has been reversed in the 1990s.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch in its series Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series with number 2000145e.

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Date of creation: 16 Oct 2000
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Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:2000145e

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Keywords: Employment and unemployment; Labour; Labour mobility; turnover and work absences;

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References

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  1. Richard Archambault & Mario Fortin, 2001. "The Beveridge curve and unemployment fluctuations in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(1), pages 58-81, February.
  2. Abraham, Katharine G, 1983. "Structural-Frictional vs. Deficient Demand Unemployment: Some New Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 708-24, September.
  3. Chantal Dupasquier & Alain Guay & Pierre St-Amant, 1997. "A Comparison of Alternative Methodologies for Estimating Potential Output and the Output Gap," Working Papers 97-5, Bank of Canada.
  4. Boothby, D., 1995. "COPS : A Revised Demand Side," Papers t-95-2, Gouvernement du Canada - Human Resources Development.
  5. Pierre Fortin, 1999. "The great Canadian slump: a rejoinder to Freedman and Macklem," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1082-1092, August.
  6. Reid, Frank & Meltz, Noah M, 1979. "Causes of Shifts in the Unemployment-Vacancy Relationship: An Empirical Analysis for Canada," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(3), pages 470-75, August.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Zhang, Xuelin & Morissette, Rene, 2001. "Quelles entreprises ont des taux de vacance eleves au Canada?," Direction des etudes analytiques : documents de recherche 2001176f, Statistics Canada, Direction des etudes analytiques.
  2. Elena Simonova & Rock Lefebvre, 2012. "Youth Unemployment in Canada: Challenging Conventional Thinking?," Working Papers 121003, Certified General Accountants Association of Canada.
  3. Aysun, Uluc & Bouvet, Florence & Hofler, Richard, 2014. "An alternative measure of structural unemployment," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 592-603.
  4. Zhang, Xuelin & Morissette, Rene, 2001. "Which Firms Have High Job Vacancy Rates in Canada?," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2001176e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  5. Picot, Garnett & Heisz, Andrew & Nakamura, A., 2001. "Job Tenure, Worker Mobility and the Youth Labour Market During the 1990s," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2001155e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.

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