April 2024

Spotlight on data and research

Canada’s gross domestic product per capita: Perspectives on a return to trend

This article provides perspective on the extent to which recent declines in GDP per capita represent a departure from the long-term trend in per capita growth, while highlighting factors that may effectively bolster per capita growth through improvements in business productivity. Drawing on recent research at Statistics Canada that examine the link between investment, competition, and productivity, this article provides a guide to understanding how Canada fell behind, and what is involved in getting back to trend.

Heightened investment in intangible assets such as software and data in recent years may prove to be important sources of productivity growth in the near term. Industries that relied heavily on digital technologies were much more resilient during the pandemic, with higher digital intensity in finance and wholesale trade industries contributing to productivity gains during the recovery period.

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Employment by choice and necessity among Canadian-born and immigrant seniors

In 2022, 9% of seniors aged 65 to 74 worked by necessity while 12% worked by choice. This article found that immigrants, women with no spouse and men living in rented dwellings, were more likely than other seniors to work by necessity.

The degree to which immigrants worked by necessity varied across population groups. About 20% of Black, Filipino or South Asian immigrant men reported working by necessity that year, compared with 8% of Chinese immigrant men and 12% of White immigrant men. Black immigrant women (12%) and Filipino immigrant women (13%) were also more likely than Chinese immigrant women (6%) to report working by necessity.

Compared with seniors who worked by choice, seniors who worked by necessity earned less money and were more likely to hold jobs that required relatively little training, education and experience. These findings suggest that seniors who work by necessity are more economically vulnerable than those who work by choice.

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Retention and recruitment of young skilled workers: Results by province and territory

A young skilled labour force can make important contributions to the economic, health, cultural, and civic vitality of any community. This study  looks at the number of young postsecondary graduates who either moved away from (skill loss) or moved into (skill gain) a province or territory as a share of all young postsecondary graduates educated in that province or territory. The differences in these two shares are termed “net skill losses” or “net skill gains”.

Net skill gains were highest by far in Nunavut (184%), followed by the Northwest Territories (45%) and Yukon (39%). Among provinces, only two were net skill gainers (Alberta, 22% and British Columbia, 7%). Net skill losses were particularly large in Prince Edward Island (-25%), New Brunswick (-17%), and Newfoundland and Labrador (-17%), while smaller losses were registered in Nova Scotia (-10%), Manitoba (-8%) and Saskatchewan (-7%). Quebec and Ontario registered very small net skill losses (-2% in both cases).

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Recent developments in the Canadian economy: Spring 2024

This article provides an integrated summary of recent changes in output, consumer prices, employment, and household finances. It highlights changes in the economic data during the second half of 2023 and into the winter months. The article also examines how economic conditions have changed as borrowing costs have risen.

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Women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises in Canada: Exporting story

In 2017, 15.6% of all small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and 14.8% of all SME exporters were owned by women, suggesting that women-owned SMEs are as likely to export as men-owned ones, although women-owned SMEs were smaller and concentrated in sectors that are less likely to export. This article co-authored with Global Affairs Canada, found that the success of women-owned SMEs is because they benefit more from adoption of online payment systems, organizational innovation, and selling strategies for entering export markets than men-owned SMEs. For instance, women-owned SMEs with adoption of online payment system had a predicted probability of exporting 18 to 20 percentage points higher than men-owned ones.  They also benefit more than their peers from more education and years of management experience of prime decision makers in increasing export intensity.

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Research article

The social networks of immigrant women

Many immigrants develop social connections upon arrival in Canada. However, little is known about the variation in immigrant women’s social networks. This study examines the number of close friends, acquaintances, and friends from other ethnic groups by immigrant women’s’ sociodemographic, immigration, and residential characteristics in comparison with Canadian-born women. It found that most groups of immigrant and Canadian-born women had about four close friends in the local area.

While immigrant women overall had about three fewer acquaintances than Canadian-born women (16 acquaintances) in the local area, they had more social connections from visibly different ethnic groups. Still, many of the social networks of immigrant women were largely composed of people from the same ethnic group except for immigrant women from the black population group, where 49.6% had half or more friends from visibly different ethnic backgrounds.

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