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Relative Unemployment in Canada and the United States: An Assessment

  • Gary Burtless

The paper reaches three conclusions about causes of the Canada-US unemployment gap. First, pure definitional differences are not very important. Second, changes in the unemployment insurance system in Canada during the 1970s and in the United States during the 1980s caused changes in jobless persons' responses to labour market surveys. Jobless Canadians became more likely to search for work during the 1970s and 1980s; jobless Americans became somewhat less likely to seek work in the 1980s and early 1990s. Third, increased relative Canadian unemployment in the 1990s is genuine, reflecting either a cyclical or structural slump in the Canadian job market.

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Article provided by University of Toronto Press in its journal Canadian Public Policy.

Volume (Year): 24 (1998)
Issue (Month): s1 (February)
Pages: 254-263

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Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:24:y:1998:i:s1:p:254-263
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  1. Peter Kuhn (McMaster) & A. Leslie Robb (McMaster), . "Shifting Skill Demand and the Canada-US Unemployment Gap: Evidence from Prime-Age Men," Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers 01, McMaster University.
  2. David Card & W. Craig Riddell, 1993. "A Comparative Analysis of Unemployment in Canada and the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Small Differences That Matter: Labor Markets and Income Maintenance in Canada and the United States, pages 149-190 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Gary Burtless, 1983. "Why Is Insured Unemployment So Low?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 14(1), pages 225-254.
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