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Unemployment Compensation and Adjustment Assistance for Displaced Workers: Policy Options for Canada

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  • Riddell, W. Craig

Abstract

This paper examines the role of EI in providing support to “displaced workers,†those who permanently lose their jobs because of changing circumstances. Adjusting to change benefits Canadians as a whole. However, some workers suffer much more from job loss than do others. Those who have held their jobs for an extended period experience substantial earnings losses, while those who have been employed for brief periods experience small losses. Like other job losers, long-tenure displaced workers experience earnings losses due to reduced income during unemployment following displacement. However, unlike other job losers, many long-tenure displaced workers become re-employed at significantly lower wages. EI does not take into account these consequences of job loss. Long-tenure displaced workers constitute a small minority of job losers. My analysis indicates that job losers with 5 or more years of job tenure constitute about 5% of unemployment and 15-20% of permanent job losers. The paper makes several policy recommendations. Some address gaps in research and knowledge, while others recommend enhanced EI benefits for those who suffer greatly from job loss. Since most loss from displacement occurs after reemployment, wage insurance seems the most promising approach for insuring against large losses.

Suggested Citation

  • Riddell, W. Craig, 2011. "Unemployment Compensation and Adjustment Assistance for Displaced Workers: Policy Options for Canada," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2011-31, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 22 Dec 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:ubc:clssrn:clsrn_admin-2011-31
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    File URL: http://www.clsrn.econ.ubc.ca/workingpapers/CLSRN%20Working%20Paper%20no.%2088%20-%20Riddell.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Riddell, W. Craig & Song, Xueda, 2011. "The impact of education on unemployment incidence and re-employment success: Evidence from the U.S. labour market," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 453-463, August.
    2. Marcus Eliason & Donald Storrie, 2009. "Does Job Loss Shorten Life?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(2).
    3. Vivian H. Hamilton & Philip Merrigan & Éric Dufresne, 1997. "Down and out: estimating the relationship between mental health and unemployment," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(4), pages 397-406.
    4. Jason M. Lindo, 2010. "Are Children Really Inferior Goods? Evidence from Displacement-Driven Income Shocks," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(2).
    5. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Melvin Stephens, 2004. "Job Displacement, Disability, and Divorce," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 489-522, April.
    6. Bloom, H. & Fink, B. & Lui-Gurr, S. & Bancroft, W. & Tattrie, D., 1997. "Implementing the Earnings Supplement Project: A Test of a Re-employment Incentive," Papers r-98-1a, Gouvernement du Canada - Human Resources Development.
    7. Granet Picot & Zhengxi Lin & Wendy Pyper, 1998. "Permanent Layoffs in Canada: Overview and Longitudinal Analysis," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(5), pages 1154-1178, November.
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    9. Riddell, W. Craig & Song, Xueda, 2009. "The Causal Effects of Education on Adaptability," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2009-15, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 16 Feb 2009.
    10. Schirle, Tammy, 2009. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Older Workers: Accounting for the Retirement Option," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2009-17, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 16 Feb 2009.
    11. Frenette, Marc & Morissette, Rene & Zhang, Xuelin, 2007. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers: Canadian Evidence from a Large Administrative Database on Firm Closures and Mass Layoffs," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2007291e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
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    14. Michael B Coelli, 2009. "Parental Job Loss, Income Shocks and the Education Enrolment of Youth," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1060, The University of Melbourne.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    labour market adjustment; job displacement; unemployment; unemployment insurance; adjustment assistance policies; wage insurance;

    JEL classification:

    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

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