Edited by Brian K. MacLean, Hassan Bougrine and Louis-Philippe Rochon
Chapter 7: Full employment in Canada in the early 21st century
A national unemployment rate of 6.3 per cent in 2017 or 5.8 per cent in 2018 is only ‘low’ compared to what Canadians have got used to. Between 1946 and 1975, Canada’s unemployment rate averaged 4.7 per cent and since then the labour force has become much better educated and considerably older, which should have reduced the unemployment rate significantly. This chapter asks what ‘full employment’ would look like in Canada in the early 21st century, how we might we get there and why we might want to. It begins by discussing why ‘full employment’ became a policy priority of government in Canada after 1946, but then disappeared after 1980 – collateral damage in Canada’s successful war on inflation. It then addresses the political economy context created by the 30-year stagnation of earnings produced by that policy decision. Recent econometric evidence on the possibility that lower unemployment might cause inflation is discussed. The long-term costs of inadequate labour demand and the available macroeconomic policy tools that could produce full employment are then surveyed. The chapter concludes that full employment can and should be reinstated as a major policy objective of Canadian governments.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.