AAAE - Mind the (Shrinking) Gap

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Friday 20 January 2017, 12:00 - 13:45


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The Atlantic Association of Applied Economists (AAAE) invites you to attend:

Canadian Labour Market Dispersion: Mind the (Shrinking) Gap

WHO: David Amirault, Senior Economist and Naveen Rai, Industry Research Analyst– Bank of Canada

Full paper available here


Shocks to a currency area can and often do have asymmetric impacts on its regions that, in the absence of perfect labour mobility, lead to gaps in relative labour market performance. Witness, for example, the effects of the 2008/09 recession and subsequent financial crisis in Europe on the dispersion of employment rates across the euro area – and to a lesser extent the United States. These interregional labour market gaps can persist, as has traditionally been the case for Canadian provinces. From 1976 to 1997, the mean absolute dispersion between any one province and the national employment rate was 5.5 percentage points – significantly higher than the corresponding measure in the United States. Since then, however, the Canadian metric has fallen consistently and in 2015 was not that different than its U.S. equivalent. Despite the impacts of commodity price booms from 2003 to 2008 and 2010 to 2014, the 2008 Great Recession, and the recent sharp decline in commodity prices on the Canadian economy, Canada’s provincial labour markets are less dissimilar today than at any point in at least the past 35 years. We find that reductions in the dispersion of provincial employment rates in the mid-1990s and 2000s are mostly concentrated among women and those in the 25 to 44 age group. Furthermore, evidence suggests that the tighter dispersion of employment rates has not been driven by stronger employment growth in previously weak regions of the country. Rather, it has mostly occurred as regional population growth has increasingly responded to labour market conditions. In other words, labour is being more efficiently reallocated to the regions of the country that have the tightest labour markets and away from those with excess labour supply. The dispersion of both unemployment and participation rates has fallen, contributing to this trend.

WHEN: Friday, January 20th, 2017, Noon to 1:45pm (Atlantic Standard Time)

WHERE: Bank of Canada Boardroom, Bank of Canada Regional Office, 13th Floor, 1701 Hollis St., (Founders Square), Halifax, Nova Scotia

COST: Members: $10, Non-Members: $20 (A light lunch will be provided)

CONFERENCE CALL: A teleconference call option is available for those living outside of Halifax. The cost is the same as for in-person attendance.

REGISTRATION: Seating is limited and spaces will be reserved until we reach capacity. Visit the CABE Store to register for this event. You must register no later than end of day Wednesday 18th January.    

Location Bank of Canada Atlantic Regional Office
1701 Hollis St., 13th Floor
B3J 3M8
Contact Tara Ainsworth, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.