Economic and Social Reports, March 2023
The March 2023 issue of Economic and Social Reports, which contains four articles, is now available.
First national estimates on the provision of child care services
There has been a significant increase in the use of non-parental child care, particularly centre-based care, over the past several decades for children aged 0 to 5 years.
The study "Characteristics of child care centres serving children aged 0 to 5 years in Canada, 2021 to 2022" is the first to report national estimates of the provision of child care services in centres that serve children aged 0 to 5 years. Findings from the 2022 Canadian Survey on the Provision of Child Care Services provide a snapshot of child care services in Canada before the implementation of federal, provincial and territorial bilateral agreements as part of a $27.2 billion investment for a Canada-wide early learning and child care system.
In April 2022, there were 12,664 child care centres across Canada providing care to children aged 0 to 5 years. About 9 in 10 centres offered full-time care, and two-thirds offered part-time care. With 16% of centres offering drop-in or flexible care and 2% offering care in the evenings, weekends or overnight, there were few centre-based care options for parents who work non-standard hours.
Mothers were more likely to return to work after parental leave in 2019 compared with 2009
The study "The likelihood and timing of mothers returning to work after parental leave" compared the characteristics and patterns of mothers returning to work after parental leave in 2019 with those in 2009. Compared with mothers in the 2009 cohort (82%), mothers in the 2019 cohort (88%) were more likely to return to work at some point after parental leave. In 2019, mothers in Canada had a higher level of education and made more investment in their career before childbirth than in 2009. Overall, women in the 2019 cohort were more likely than women in the 2009 cohort to return to work after parental leave and to use longer leave.
However, not all mothers experienced the same changes over time. The percentage of mothers with an hourly wage less than $15 returning to work within 12 months of leave increased from 47% in 2009 to 53% in 2019, while the percentage decreased from 74% to 54% among mothers earning an hourly wage of $30 to $39.
Results also showed that mothers in Quebec had a higher likelihood of returning to work within 12 months rather than later compared with other provinces.
Zombie firms are lowering productivity
Zombie firms (or zombies) are businesses that perform poorly over a long period of time without closing, and studies have shown that they can hurt the growth prospects of healthy firms within the same industries.
The article "Zombie firms in Canada" provides some of the first results on characteristics of zombie firms in Canada. Using a comprehensive dataset that includes all private and publicly traded firms that file a corporate tax return between 2000 and 2019, it found that the share of zombie firms in Canada is much lower than previous estimates that focused only on publicly traded corporations. When all firms are considered, the incidence of zombie firms in Canada (5% to 7%) was substantially lower than among publicly traded firms (18% to 36%) and falls within the range of other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries.
While the share of zombies among all firms declined after 2011, zombies are accounting for more resources over time, are worsening in their performance and negatively impacting the productivity and growth of healthy firms and are increasingly lowering aggregate productivity.
The mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector is one of the sectors where the share of zombie firms was rising from 2002 to 2019, reaching 10.6% in 2019. This is consistent with lower commodity prices from 2011 to 2012 and from 2014 to 2016. However, the previous results hold, even when the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector is excluded.
Future work will examine whether firms in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector exited out of zombie status with the recovery of oil prices in 2022 and the impact of COVID-19 pandemic-related subsidies on the share of zombies.
Interjurisdictional employment in Canada, 2002 to 2019
Interjurisdictional employment is when workers choose to work in another province or territory but not move their primary residence. It is an important source of labour adjustment in Canada. The article "Interjurisdictional employment in Canada, 2002 to 2019" documents the evolution of interjurisdictional employment from 2002 to 2019 based on the most recent release of interjurisdictional employment estimates. About 440,000 workers were interjurisdictional employees in 2019, up from roughly 330,000 in 2002. On average, Ontario, Alberta and the territories had more interjurisdictional employees arrive than leave from 2002 to 2019, compared with the Atlantic provinces, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, which had more interjurisdictional employees leave than arrive in that time. In a post-pandemic labour market where many employers face recruitment challenges, the degree to which interjurisdictional employees will help fill job vacancies will be worth monitoring.
The March 2023 issue of Economic and Social Reports, Vol. 3, no. 3 (36280001) is now available. This issue contains the articles "Characteristics of child care centres serving children aged 0 to 5 years in Canada, 2021 to 2022," "The likelihood and timing of mothers returning to work after parental leave," "Zombie firms in Canada" and "Interjurisdictional employment in Canada, 2002 to 2019."
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