Operation and structure of the labour market in Canada.

Tang, Hoy Ying (1967) Operation and structure of the labour market in Canada. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Canada's population growth has been generally rapid with average decennial increase of about 20.0 per cent between 1911 and 1961. The pattern of growth of the labour force, on the other hand, is not markedly different from the pattern of population growth. The labour force grew substantially by 52.0 per cent in the first decade of the twentieth century, owing to an unprecedented rate of immigration. The period after World War II also experienced a remarkable growth of the labour force by more than 20.0 per cent. The rate in the 1960's appears to be as great as that of the 1950's, and perhaps somewhat greater. -- Technological progress and increasing mechanization have combined with rapid expansion in secondary and particularly in tertiary industry to produce a substantial shift in the labour force since World War II. In the 1950's, agriculture provided 20.0 per cent of total employment in Canada, whereas by the early 1960’s the proportion fell to 10.0 per cent and the decline continues. On the other hand, total non-agricultural employment increased by almost 60.0 per cent between 1950 and 1965. Another dominant feature of the post-war labour force is the increasing rate of female participation: in 1901, not more than one out of every six adult women was in the labour force, but today the female proportion has risen to almost one out of every three. Essentially, the rapid expansion of service industries and white-collar occupations in all sectors of the economy, and the change in social attitude, have widened many job opportunities £or women and favoured increased female participation. -- Looking at the post-war trends of unemployment in Canada, four distinct periods can be observed: the first period, 1946-1953, marked the post-war boom with unemployment rate of less than 3.0 per cent; the second period, 1954-1957, experienced a rise in the unemployment rate averaging 4.3 per cent, which reflected the slowdown in general economic activities; the third period, 1958-1961, revealed a high unemployment rate of 7.0 per cent as a result of a £all in the world demand £or Canada's primary products and of increased foreign competition in manufactured goods. From 1961 the Canadian economy began to recover and consequently the unemployment rate was around 4.0 per cent. The total pool of unemployed includes frictional, cyclical, structural, and seasonal unemployment. In Canada, the first quarter of the year is usually the time of maximum unemployment and the third quarter is the time of minimum unemployment. Furthermore, unemployment rate varies inversely with the rate of labour mobility, which can be broadly classified in three categories: occupational, industrial, and geographical. The Federal Government has designed manpower and employment policy £or reducing total unemployment and promoting labour mobility. -- In Canada, wage rates vary from occupation to occupation, from industry to industry, and from region to region. There is no national system of wage determination which guides wage setting throughout the economy. Nor is there a well defined government wage policy. Although there are laws fixing minimum wages and hours and the law as well as courts declare certain means, ends or purposes to be illegal, the final settlement of labour conflict is left largely to the labour unions and management. For purposes of collective bargaining, each union comprises a network of locals, which enjoy almost complete autonomy with minimal assistance or intervention from headquarters. The Canadian labour movement is international, with a vast majority of its local unions in affiliation with trade unions in the United States. -- Canada is now experiencing labour shortages in certain skills and occupations, which undoubtedly constitute an obstacle to the rate of economic growth. There is, therefore, a general need to upgrade the education and skill requirements of the existing labour force. While the economy appears to have begun to encounter certain elements of manpower deficiencies, the average unemployment rate was still around 4.0 per cent in the past few years. It is for this reason that there is a pressing need for improved manpower and employment policy.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/11515
Item ID: 11515
Additional Information: Bibliography : leaves 168-174.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Economics
Date: 1967
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Labor mobility--Canada; Labor supply--Canada; Unemployed--Canada.

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