IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Performance of the 1990s Canadian Labour Market


  • Heisz, Andrew
  • Picot, Garnett


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

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


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

    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.


    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:stc:stcp3e:2000148e. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Brown). General contact details of provider: .

    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 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.

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.