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The Performance of the 1990s Canadian Labour Market

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  • Heisz, Andrew
  • Picot, Garnett

Abstract

There is a general sense that the 1990s labour market was unique. It has been characterized by notions such as "downsizing", "technological revolution", "the knowledge-based economy", "rising job instability", and so on. This paper provides an extensive overview of the performance of the 1990s labour market, and asks just how different it was from the 1980s. It goes on to ask if the facts are consistent with many common beliefs and explanations. The paper focuses on (a) macro-level labour market outcomes, and (b) distributional outcomes. Macro-level topics include: has the nature of work changed dramatically in the 1990s? has there been a continued ratcheting up of unemployment? have we witnessed rising job instability and increased levels of layoffs? did company downsizing increase in the 1990s? why did per capita income growth stall in the 1990s? for a worker with a given level of human capital, has there been a deterioration in labour market outcomes? Much of the focus in the labour market over the 1980s and 1990s was on distributional outcomes - who is winning and who is losing. Some of the distributional outcomes of the 1990s labour market addressed in the paper include: outcomes for men and women; changes in the relative wages of the highly educated and earnings inequality; trends in the rate of low-income; the changing outcomes for recent labour market entrants, including young people and immigrants; and the extent to which technological change plays a major role in these outcomes. The paper concludes with a discussion of the overall performance of the 1990s labour market as compared to the 1980s.

Suggested Citation

  • Heisz, Andrew & Picot, Garnett, 2000. "The Performance of the 1990s Canadian Labour Market," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2000148e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  • Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:2000148e
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    File URL: http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/olc-cel/olc.action?ObjId=11F0019M2000148&ObjType=46&lang=en&limit=0
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hou, Feng & Picot, Garnett, 2003. "The Rise in Low-income Rates Among Immigrants in Canada," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2003198e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    2. Lukas Matejovsky & Sandeep Mohapatra & Bodo Steiner, 2014. "The Dynamic Effects of Entrepreneurship on Regional Economic Growth: Evidence from Canada," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(4), pages 611-639, December.
    3. Andrew Heisz & Andrew Jackson & Garnett Picot, 2001. "Distributional Outcomes in Canada During the 1990s," The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress,in: Andrew Sharpe, Executive Director & France St-Hilaire, Vice-President , Research & Keith Banting, Di (ed.), The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress 2001: The Longest Decade: Canada in the 1990s, volume 1 Centre for the Study of Living Standards;The Institutute for Research on Public Policy.

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