Can The United States Learn From Canada’s Economic Recovery? (Maybe Everything, Maybe Nothing)

Richard Florida at The Atlantic Cities highlights an interesting Canada-U.S. bilateral difference in regards to the Great Recession:

Another, less-talked about area where America has something to learn from Canada is employment. In the U.S., nearly one in five jobs (17.6 percent) generated over the course of the recovery have been low-wage temp jobs — a troubling trend I wrote about this past summer. But just over the border in Canada, temp positions made up less than 3 percent (2.7 percent) of the net jobs added to the economy between 2009 and 2013, according to a detailed analysis from my frequent collaborators at the economic modeling firm EMSI.

And EMSI’s own Fraser Martens, while tempering the extent of the Canada-U.S. jobs contrast, still notes a significant trend most Americans would be happy to emulate:

Overall, even seeing that these higher-paid jobs are only keeping pace with the local economy is still a very good sign. Contrary to naysayers who might prefer to suggest that Canada’s economic growth is illusory and built on low-paying, entry-level jobs, this data suggests that even in the slower job markets some of the strongest growth is coming from jobs that make a strong living for workers. And for Canadians looking to improve their employment situation, that’s very good news.

Still, both discussions don’t aim the two press questions any U.S. policy would probably ask:

  • What significance did Canada being largely shielded from the Great Recession have on their subsequent job creation?
  • What public policies or private industry practices account for the hiring trend difference?
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