MRO Magazine

Workforce challenges to continue

Ottawa – Over the next two decades, Canada and its regions will have to contend with the challenges of more and more aging baby-boomers leaving the workforce, according to a new commentary, Growth in Provincial Labour Productivity: A...


Ottawa – Over the next two decades, Canada and its regions will have to contend with the challenges of more and more aging baby-boomers leaving the workforce, according to a new commentary, Growth in Provincial Labour Productivity: A Problem from Coast to Coast, by Alicia Macdonald, senior economist with the Conference Board of Canada. The result will be slower growth in the economy while simultaneously adding to demand and expenditures for health care.

One part of the solution to slower growth would be to lift productivity – a sure-fire way to boost income per capita and help the country pay for those public services we want and need, says Macdonald.

She reports that while Canadians are hopeful for the future, the country’s past performance on the productivity front has not been strong. Numerous past studies have highlighted Canada’s poor labour productivity performance relative to the United States, but few have looked at the issue from a regional perspective. Productivity is not just a federal issue, she says.

This study looks at productivity among the provinces and finds that with just one exception (Newfoundland and Labrador), poor productivity growth is a problem that exists from coast-to-coast. With baby boomers contributing to slower economic growth and to rising health care expenditures across all regions, it’s vital that all provinces develop an agenda to boost their productivity growth, the report contends

Over the 1998 to 2011 time period, the US posted average annual compound growth in labour productivity of 2.5%, while Canada posted average growth of 1.3%.

To read the report, visit the website at www.conferenceboard.ca.