IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Exploring the Canadian‐U.S. Unemployment and Nonemployment Rate Gaps: Are There Lessons for Both Countries?


  • Mark D. Partridge


The Canadian and U.S. economies are very similar. Yet, beginning in the 1980s, Canada experienced much greater relative unemployment rates followed in the 1990s by a declining share of population employed. Using state‐ and provincial‐level data this study assesses why U.S. labor markets have recently performed relatively better than their Canadian counterparts. The empirical results indicate that more rapid U.S. employment growth explains a relatively small proportion of its lower joblessness. Structural causes including lower U.S. unionization and less generous unemployment insurance appear to be more important, at least in the long run. The Canadian labor market also appears to be less flexible to regional economic shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark D. Partridge, 2001. "Exploring the Canadian‐U.S. Unemployment and Nonemployment Rate Gaps: Are There Lessons for Both Countries?," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 701-734, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jregsc:v:41:y:2001:i:4:p:701-734
    DOI: 10.1111/0022-4146.00240

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Mark Partridge & M. Rose Olfert & Alessandro Alasia, 2007. "Canadian cities as regional engines of growth: agglomeration and amenities," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(1), pages 39-68, February.
    2. Böckerman, Petri, 2002. "Understanding Regional Productivity in a Nordic Welfare State: Does ICT Matter?," Discussion Papers 798, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    3. Scott Baum & William Mitchell, 2010. "Labour Underutilisation and Gender: Unemployment Versus Hidden-Unemployment," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 29(2), pages 233-248, April.
    4. Constantine Angyridis & Haiwen Zhou, 2022. "Search, technology choice, and unemployment," International Studies of Economics, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 17(3), pages 296-310, September.
    5. Enrique López-Bazo & Elisabet Motellón, 2013. "The regional distribution of unemployment: What do micro-data tell us?," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 92(2), pages 383-405, June.
    6. Solmaria Halleck Vega & J. Paul Elhorst, 2017. "Regional labour force participation across the European Union: a time–space recursive modelling approach with endogenous regressors," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2-3), pages 138-160, July.
    7. Amir Borges Ferreira Neto, 2023. "Do public libraries impact local labour markets? Evidence from Appalachia," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(2), pages 216-238, April.
    8. Mark Partridge & Dan Rickman, 2009. "Canadian regional labour market evolutions: a long-run restrictions SVAR analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(15), pages 1855-1871.
    9. repec:rre:publsh:v:33:y:2003:i:1:p:17-39 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Enrique López-Bazo & Elisabet Motellón, 2013. "On the geography of unemployment rates and the spatial sorting of workers' schooling," ERSA conference papers ersa13p869, European Regional Science Association.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:jregsc:v:41:y:2001:i:4:p:701-734. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing or Christopher F. Baum (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.