Report on Productivity Trends in Selected Natural Resource Industries in Canada
The purpose of this report is to shed light on the dynamics and determinants of productivity growth in nine selected natural resource industries and in the overall natural resource sector in Canada. This report provides a concise review of the findings of a detailed analysis undertaken by the Centre for the Study of Living Standards for Natural Resources Canada. The importance of productivity growth is reviewed, and observations are made on the contribution of natural resource industries to aggregate productivity growth; brief summaries on productivity and its determinants are presented for each of the nine industries; and the findings are synthesized into lessons for the natural resource sector as a whole. Some of the main findings are that: natural resource industries contribute disproportionately to aggregate productivity growth in Canada, with labour productivity levels twice as high as the total economy on average, and labour productivity growth one and one half times as rapid as total economy labour productivity growth; capital deepening is a key driver of labour productivity growth in natural resource industries, and high levels of capital intensity explain the high levels of labour productivity in natural resource industries; technological advance is another important driver of labour productivity growth in natural resource industries, and has also increased the importance of human capital; the earth sciences industries make a significant contribution to productivity growth in natural resource industries by providing innovative exploration and development services; and price trends play a large role in the productivity performance of many natural resource industries by determining the quality of deposit that is profitable to be exploited.
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