It’s an important question.
But as a former federal MP and current NDP critic for jobs, the economy is hardly the only area where it’s a debate.
The question is, why is it that we’re not creating enough jobs?
And that’s a question worth asking.
It’s also one worth pondering because it suggests that our economy is not the main driver of our prosperity.
And that, in turn, has implications for how we’re going to manage the future.
It seems like an easy question to answer, especially when you’re looking at the economy as a whole, but it’s not the right question to ask if you’re not focusing on the key driver of growth, the labour force participation rate.
That’s the percentage of people who are either working or actively seeking work.
It is a major factor in the ability of a country to maintain economic growth.
It drives growth by increasing the number of people actively looking for work.
In a country with a relatively low labour force, such as Canada, that figure can be an important driver of economic growth in ways we can’t yet predict.
If Canada’s economy is struggling to create enough jobs, then the economy could be growing at much lower rates.
But that’s not necessarily the case.
We can look at the labour market trends to see if we can find some clues.
We’ve looked at the percentage who are actively looking and how they’re doing it, as well as the level of unemployment and underemployment.
Those trends are pretty consistent over time.
But looking at all of those trends over a period of a decade and a half is challenging because we don’t know how the economy was doing before.
And we don, too, not knowing how the economic situation has changed over the past few years.
What we do know is that our labour market is not at a level that supports growth.
We have the lowest unemployment rate in the industrialized world, as reported by Statistics Canada.
We also have the highest rate of undereMployment, or undereployment in the country.
What’s more, the number and share of people working full-time have been declining for decades.
We’re also seeing a growing number of young people leave the labour pool.
All of those factors together have made Canada the most unfriendly place to work in the world.
So when you compare the unemployment rate to undereemployment rates, the trend in Canada has been negative.
But the trends in labour force involvement are also encouraging, as the chart below shows.
As unemployment and unemployment trends have improved, so have underemanded hours.
Those two trends are encouraging, too.
The chart above shows how the labour participation rate has gone from an average of 63.4 per cent in 1981 to an average that’s at or near 70 per cent today.
And as the share of full-timers has risen, so has the labour-force participation rate, meaning that there’s a lot more working people in Canada.
The other thing that we’ve seen over the last decade is the growth of people in their early 30s, 40s, 50s, and so on.
That is good for our economy because it helps to create more workers.
But it’s also bad for our society.
When the proportion of working people rises, the unemployment of those people increases.
And when the unemployment falls, the proportion that’s actively looking declines.
That creates a vicious cycle, with one side of the labour supply going to those who are unemployed and the other side going to the people who have been idle for too long.
In other words, there’s an economic incentive to be a part-time worker in Canada, because that way there’s less economic risk for the workers who are idle.
And so, as labour market participation rates have gone up, there has been an economic pressure on part-timing jobs.
The decline in part-timer employment in Canada started in the early 2000s and has continued to this day.
It also began to slow in the late 2000s.
But despite that, we’ve been seeing the labour demand for part-times increase over time, and it’s now at an all-time high.
That means that part-times are becoming a much bigger part of our economy, not just because of the increase in part timers but also because part-workers have become much more likely to work part-years.
It makes sense.
When you’re in the workforce, you’re constantly looking for new jobs.
And if there are fewer people looking for jobs then there’s more competition for those jobs, which leads to higher unemployment.
And it also makes people less productive.
That puts more pressure on businesses to pay employees more, which increases the cost of goods and services.
As a result, business owners have been reducing wages and hours to keep the economy churn