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Explanations of the Decline in Manufacturing Employment in Canada

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  • Evan Capeluck

Abstract

The objective of this report is to examine the reasons for the decline in manufacturing’s employment share in Canada, with particular attention paid to the roles of labour productivity growth, demand-side factors, and outsourcing. The results of the report suggest that above average labour productivity growth explains most of the decline in the manufacturing employment share before 2000, while below-average real output growth explains most of the decline after 2000. The slowdown in real output growth after 2000 reflects the sector’s poor export performance which is related to many factors, including: a loss in cost competitiveness linked to an appreciation of the Canadian dollar; increased competition in the U.S. import market; and a slowdown in domestic demand growth in the United States. However, the story becomes more complicated when manufacturing employment is broken down into its various components. In particular, the evolution of manufacturing employment was, in different periods, largely driven by the fortunes of specific industries.

Suggested Citation

  • Evan Capeluck, 2015. "Explanations of the Decline in Manufacturing Employment in Canada," CSLS Research Reports 2015-17, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
  • Handle: RePEc:sls:resrep:1517
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    File URL: http://www.csls.ca/reports/csls2015-17.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michel Beine & Serge Coulombe & Wessel N. Vermeulen, 2015. "Dutch Disease and the Mitigation Effect of Migration: Evidence from Canadian Provinces," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(589), pages 1574-1615, December.
    2. Giuseppe Berlingieri, 2013. "Outsourcing and the Rise in Services," CEP Discussion Papers dp1199, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    3. David Dupuis & Philippe Marcil, 2008. "The Effects of Recent Relative Price Movements on the Canadian Economy," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2008(Autumn), pages 45-55.
    4. Evan Capeluck, 2014. "Convergence Across Provincial Economies in Canada: Trends, Drivers, and Implications," CSLS Research Reports 2014-03, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    5. Valerie Grossman & Michael Sposi, 2014. "Deindustrialization redeploys workers to growing service sector," Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, vol. 9(11), pages 1-4, September.
    6. Berthold Herrendorf & Richard Rogerson & ?kos Valentinyi, 2013. "Two Perspectives on Preferences and Structural Transformation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(7), pages 2752-2789, December.
    7. Calista Cheung & James Rossiter & Yi Zheng, 2008. "Offshoring and Its Effects on the Labour Market and Productivity: A Survey of Recent Literature," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2008(Autumn), pages 17-30.
    8. Baldwin, John R. Macdonald, Ryan, 2009. "The Canadian Manufacturing Sector: Adapting to Challenges," Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series 2009057e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    9. van Wijnbergen, Sweder J G, 1984. "The 'Dutch Disease': A Disease after All?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(373), pages 41-55, March.
    10. Danny Leung & Shutao Cao, 2009. "The Changing Pace of Labour Reallocation in Canada: Causes and Consequences," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2009(Summer), pages 31-42.
    11. Evan Capeluck, 2015. "The Evolution of Manufacturing Employment in Canada: The Role of Outsourcing," CSLS Research Reports 2015-18, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
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    Cited by:

    1. Evan Capeluck, 2015. "The Evolution of Manufacturing Employment in Canada: The Role of Outsourcing," CSLS Research Reports 2015-18, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Manufacturing; Employment; Productivity; Canada; Demand Growth; Competition;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • M55 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Contracting Devices
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • N32 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • N22 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • N62 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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