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Hours worked and labour productivity in the provinces and territories (preliminary), 2018

Released: 2019-05-22

Annual labour productivity (2007 dollars) — Canada

$56.00 per hour

2018

0.0%

(annual change)

Annual labour productivity (2007 dollars) — N.L.

$82.10 per hour

2018

-4.1% decrease

(annual change)

Annual labour productivity (2007 dollars) — P.E.I.

$36.60 per hour

2018

-0.3% decrease

(annual change)

Annual labour productivity (2007 dollars) — N.S.

$38.20 per hour

2018

-3.0% decrease

(annual change)

Annual labour productivity (2007 dollars) — N.B.

$42.40 per hour

2018

0.0%

(annual change)

Annual labour productivity (2007 dollars) — Que.

$48.30 per hour

2018

0.4% increase

(annual change)

Annual labour productivity (2007 dollars) — Ont.

$52.50 per hour

2018

-0.2% decrease

(annual change)

Annual labour productivity (2007 dollars) — Man.

$53.50 per hour

2018

1.1% increase

(annual change)

Annual labour productivity (2007 dollars) — Sask.

$83.90 per hour

2018

1.1% increase

(annual change)

Annual labour productivity (2007 dollars) — Alta.

$77.80 per hour

2018

0.0%

(annual change)

Annual labour productivity (2007 dollars) — B.C.

$52.60 per hour

2018

1.2% increase

(annual change)

Annual labour productivity (2007 dollars) — Y.T.

$61.40 per hour

2018

2.7% increase

(annual change)

Annual labour productivity (2007 dollars) — N.W.T.

$155.60 per hour

2018

7.2% increase

(annual change)

Annual labour productivity (2007 dollars) — Nvt.

$181.00 per hour

2018

7.7% increase

(annual change)

Business productivity rose in four provinces and every territory in 2018. Moreover, in most provinces and territories, productivity grew at a slower pace than in 2017. Nationally, productivity was unchanged in 2018, following a 2.2% increase in 2017.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Labour productivity growth in the business sector, Canada, provinces and territories, 2018
Labour productivity growth in the business sector, Canada, provinces and territories, 2018

The results of provincial productivity performance were mixed in 2018. British Columbia (+1.2%), Saskatchewan (+1.1%) and Manitoba (+1.1%) all posted productivity growth above 1.0%. Quebec (+0.4%) also saw positive growth, though it was modest. In New Brunswick and Alberta, productivity was unchanged from 2017, while it edged down in Ontario (-0.2%) and Prince Edward Island (-0.3%). In contrast, Newfoundland and Labrador (-4.1%) and Nova Scotia (-3.0%) saw declines in their productivity.

Atlantic provinces

In Newfoundland and Labrador, productivity fell 4.1% in 2018, the largest decline in the country, after posting large gains in the previous two years. Productivity was down in both goods-producing (-1.5%) and service-producing (-4.0%) businesses. Construction (-13.1%) and retail trade (-9.8%) were the main sources of the decline in productivity in 2018. This reflected declines in the real gross domestic product (GDP) of businesses (-4.3%) and hours worked (-0.2%). The 4.6% decrease in hours worked in goods-producing businesses more than offset the 2.5% increase in service-producing businesses.

In Prince Edward Island, business productivity edged down 0.3% in 2018, following a 0.8% decline in 2017, wholly attributable to service-producing businesses, which decreased 0.9%. Professional services, construction and other business services contributed the most to the decline, while real GDP in the province rose 2.6%, slightly lower than the growth in hours worked (+3.1%). Goods-producing businesses saw their productivity rise 0.5%.

In Nova Scotia, productivity fell 3.0%, following five consecutive years of growth. It decreased in both service-producing (-3.7%) and goods-producing (-2.3%) businesses. Accommodation and food services, retail trade, and construction were the main sources of the decline. In 2018, there was a sharp acceleration in the growth of hours worked in the province (+4.4%), the highest of all provinces and observed mainly in public services, accommodation and food services, and manufacturing. This outpaced the growth in business production (+1.1%).

Chart 2  Chart 2: Growth in hours worked in the business sector, Canada, provinces and territories, 2018
Growth in hours worked in the business sector, Canada, provinces and territories, 2018

New Brunswick experienced no productivity growth in 2018, following five consecutive annual gains. Goods-producing businesses edged up 0.2%, while service-producing businesses were unchanged. Retail trade and agriculture and forestry contributed the most, in a positive way, to the change in productivity. In 2018, real GDP of businesses (-0.8%) and hours worked (-0.7%) declined at a similar pace.

Central Canada

Productivity in Quebec rose 0.4% in 2018, following a 2.1% increase in 2017. The province experienced slowdowns in both goods and service-producing businesses. Administrative services and construction moderated the overall growth in productivity.

Real GDP of businesses in Quebec grew 2.5% in 2018, with all major industrial sectors posting increases in production. During this time, hours worked rose 2.0%—the fourth consecutive annual increase. Hours worked increased in 13 of the 19 major industrial sectors, with mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction posting the largest increase (+12.4%), while the sharpest decline was in information and cultural industries (-8.8%).

Manufacturing productivity in Quebec rose 1.8% as growth in manufacturing production slowed to 2.5% and hours worked (+0.6%) continued to rise for the fourth consecutive year.

In Ontario, productivity edged down 0.2%, following four years of growth. The decline in the productivity of goods-producing businesses (-2.5%) more than offset the increase in the productivity of service-producing businesses (+0.6%).

In 2018, real GDP of Ontario businesses (+2.1%) grew at a slightly slower pace than in 2017, while hours worked (+2.2%) increased at twice the rate. Hours worked rose 3.9% in goods-producing businesses and 1.6% in service-producing businesses.

In the Ontario manufacturing sector, productivity rose 1.2%, following a 2.0% increase in 2017. Manufacturing production grew 1.7%—the fifth consecutive annual increase—while hours worked in this sector edged up 0.5%.

Western provinces

In Manitoba, productivity was up 1.1% in 2018, the third consecutive year of growth. Productivity in goods-producing (+1.0%) and service-producing (+1.1%) businesses grew at a similar pace. Construction, manufacturing, professional services, and finance and insurance were drivers of this growth. Productivity growth in 2018 mainly reflects growth in real GDP of businesses (+1.1%), while hours worked were unchanged.

Productivity in Saskatchewan rose 1.1% in 2018, following an increase of 3.8% the previous year, boosted by growth in goods-producing businesses (+3.1%). The productivity of service-producing businesses declined 0.6%. Real GDP of businesses grew 1.5% and hours worked edged up 0.4% after four years of decline.

Productivity was unchanged in Alberta in 2018, following a rebound of 3.3% in 2017. Productivity growth in goods-producing businesses (+5.3%) was completely offset by a decline in the productivity of service-producing businesses (-2.9%). Finance and insurance, as well as professional services, dampened productivity growth. In 2018, business production and hours worked both increased 2.3%. Hours worked in service-producing businesses posted their largest increase (+4.7%) in seven years.

In British Columbia, productivity increased 1.2% in 2018, the same pace as in 2017. This was the highest growth rate among the provinces in 2018. Productivity rose in service-producing businesses (+0.4%), but the main source of growth was goods-producing businesses (+2.2%), accounting for about three-quarters of the increase. In 2018, production and hours worked in the province slowed, but growth was stronger in real GDP of businesses (+2.4%) than in hours worked (+1.4%). The biggest increases in hours worked were in administrative services; arts, entertainment and recreation; and professional services.

The territories

In Yukon, productivity (+2.7%) resumed its increase in 2018, after registering the sharpest decline in the country the previous year (-8.4%). Construction was the main source of this growth and reflects increases in real GDP of businesses in the territory (+3.3%), while hours worked edged up 0.6%.

In the Northwest Territories, productivity grew 7.2% in 2018, following a significant increase in 2017. Productivity grew equally (+7.0%) in both goods and service-producing businesses. Construction, particularly engineering, contributed the most to overall productivity growth. In 2018, real GDP of businesses (+2.1%) increased at a slower pace than in 2017 (+4.5%), while hours worked declined for the third consecutive year.

Productivity in Nunavut grew 7.7% in 2018, following a 34.8% increase in 2017. This was the largest increase in the country for the second consecutive year. Real GDP of businesses in this territory (+15.9%) grew at a pace similar to the previous year, on continued activity in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction, as well as in construction. Meanwhile, hours worked rebounded by 7.6% after falling 13.0% in 2017.



  Note to readers

Revisions

This release incorporates an update to 2018 data on provincial and territorial labour productivity and related measures.

These data are consistent with those incorporated in the provincial and territorial gross domestic product (GDP) by industry for 2018, released on May 1, 2019. They are also consistent with those incorporated in the national GDP by industry, released on April 30, 2019. No revisions have been made to data for previous years. Revised estimates of hours worked and labour productivity in the provinces and territories for the 2016 to 2018 period will be published in February 2020.

Productivity measures

Labour productivity is a measure of real gross domestic product per hour worked. Productivity gains occur when the production of goods and services grows faster than the volume of work dedicated to their production.

Economic performance, as measured by labour productivity, must be interpreted carefully, as these data reflect changes in other inputs, in particular capital, in addition to the efficiency growth of production processes. As well, growth in labour productivity is often influenced by the degree of diversity in the industrial structure. As a result, labour productivity tends to be more volatile in the smaller provinces.

For the purposes of this analysis, as in the national labour productivity releases, productivity and related measures cover the business sector only. It is important to note that real output (used to measure productivity) is based on the value added measured at basic prices, not market prices, which is consistent with the detailed framework by industry.

As well, the real estate, rental and leasing industry, part of the service-producing business sector, excludes the imputed rent for owner-occupied dwellings as there are no data on the number of hours that homeowners spend on dwelling maintenance services.

Products

The Latest Developments in the Canadian Economic Accounts (Catalogue number13-605-X) is available.

The User Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (Catalogue number13-606-G) is available.

The Methodological Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (Catalogue number13-607-X) is available.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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