EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Shifting Skill Demand and the Canada-US Unemployment Gap: Evidence from Prime-Age Men

Peter Kuhn () and A. Robb ()

Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers from McMaster University

Abstract: This paper considers the possible role of shifts in labour demand away from unskilled workers, combined with an institutionally- generated greater labour supply elasticity in Canada, in explaining the apparent secular increase in Canadian male unemployment, and in explaining the emergence of the Canada-U.S. unemployment rate gap in the 1980's. Using comparable data on annual weeks worked and unemployed in both countries, we identify four main facts which are consistent with such this explanation: Both Canada and the US experienced wage polarization over this period, with substantial real wage declines for unskilled men; annual weeks worked fell disproportionately among unskilled workers in both countries; responses of weeks worked to wage declines were more elastic in Canada; and aggregate movements out of employment over this period corresponded closely to movements into unemployment in Canada. Interestingly, however, unskilled U.S. men were more likely than Canadians to leave the labour force as their employment fell, adding further to the Canada-U.S. unemployment gap. As well, some fairly substantial decreases in weeks worked are observed quite high up in the Canadian wage distribution, where wages did not fall appreciably. The latter changes cannot easily be explained by a shifts in labour demand alone.

References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/econ/rsrch/papers/CILN/cilnwp01.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: Shifting Skill Demand and the Canada-US Unemployment Gap: Evidence from Prime-Age Men (1998) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:mcm:cilnwp:01

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers from McMaster University Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().

 
Page updated 2019-08-16
Handle: RePEc:mcm:cilnwp:01