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This study examines long-term earnings losses of workers laid off during the early 1990s and the early 2000s using data from Statistics Canada's Longitudinal Worker File (LWF). In contrast to earlier studies, many of which focused on narrowly defined samples, this study compares earnings losses across all groups of displaced workers with stable labour market attachment prior to layoff. The study shows that focusing solely on high-seniority laid-off workers or workers laid off in firm closures leads to the exclusion of at least two-thirds of Canadian displaced workers with stable labour market attachment.

The study finds that substantial and sustained earnings losses are observed among many subsets of this population. The magnitude of long-term earnings losses varies with age, gender, employment trajectory prior to job loss, and labour market conditions. In a non-negligible number of cases, it is also sensitive to functional form. Importantly, substantial and sustained earnings losses are not limited to high-seniority workers or to periods with relatively high unemployment rates.

Keywords: worker displacement; job loss; layoffs; firm closures.

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