Job creation should still be a top priority

The recovery hasn’t been kind to men, and that should concern policy-makers

In a recent piece on the Maclean’s Econowatch blog, my colleague Stephen Gordon argues that job creation is no longer a priority. I fully agree with Stephen that demographics are important, and that long-term trends suggest (though do not guarantee) that “workers of the future will have little trouble finding jobs.” One way to control for demographic effects is to look at employment figures by demographic group. For instance, the percentage of women between the ages of 25-54 holding full time positions has returned to near record-levels:

Chart1

The same, unfortunately, does not hold true for men. Until the recession the full-time employment rate for men between the ages of 25-54 hovered between 82% and 83% before the recession. It bottomed out at 78.3% at December 2009, and in the nearly three years since March 2011, it has hovered just over 80%.

Chart2

Although “the recession ended four years ago,” as Stephen puts it, the job market for men has not returned to the levels of 2004, let alone the boom period of 2006-2008.  The employment market for men, however, is not as bad the above chart would suggest, as the reduction in full-time employment has been partially offset by a rise in part-time employment:

Chart3

A two percentage-point decrease in full-time employment and a one percentage-point increase in part-time employment may seem small, but a back-of-the-envelope calculation shows the effects are quite large. There are 7.3 million men between the ages of 25-54. Returning to pre-recession levels would mean that an extra 146,000 men of this age would have a full-time job, with half of those being drawn from the ranks of the out of work. This would provide Canada with an extra 4.7 million total hours worked per week based on average hours worked data (for this demographic group). Canadian workers, on average, generate an average of $50 of GDP per hour worked, so our back-of-the envelope figures have Canadian GDP increasing by roughly $235 million per week, or over $10 billion per year while still allowing these newly employed a few weeks of vacation.

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that these jobs will ever come back. We have seen permanent jumps in part-time employment in the past:

Chart4

Along with significant—and permanent—drops in full-time employment after some (but not all) recessions:

Chart5

Simply put: male employment has not recovered from the recession and if history is any guide, there is a good chance it never recovers. This absolutely should be a top-of-mind concern for policy-makers.




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Job creation should still be a top priority

  1. Musta been ten years ago now I started saying there is no future for uneducated white males.

    • Is there a future for uneducated black males? How about for uneducated first nations women?

      • There has never been a future for uneducated blacks, FN or women.

        For the first time ever…..white males have been hit.

        • For the first time ever…..white males have been hit

          So the last chart in the article showing that every time male employment has dropped drastically, and never recovered, are all meaningless data points?

          • It’s called a ‘Mancession’ Ricky.

            And there have been warnings since 1956

          • You said “For the first time ever…..white males have been hit”, and the last chart in the article clearly shows that it’s not the first time, or even the second time.

          • Yes….long slow buildup to it, but now it’s visible to everyone.

            1956….pay attention

          • What warnings?
            Any sources other than the voices?

          • Robots dude. The robots told her.

    • We’ve been hearing it here for six years. It certainly feels like 10 years.

  2. I wonder if Projects like the General Dynamics recent contract and the Nat’l Shipbldg Strategy are going to dent structural male underemployment?

    • No….there are more losses than gains.

  3. Need more corporate tax cuts! Corporate tax cuts create jobs!!!

    • Oh yeah, and free trade. NAFTA created 5 million jobs! Free trade with China will create 50 million jobs!

    • Please explain how low taxes create jobs. We have the lowest corporate tax rates in the G-7 if not for most of the G-20 and corporations have been keeping job creation to a standstill. Our brilliant (HA!!!) finance minister himself acknowledged that corporations are just not creating jobs. So where’s the data proving that your statement is supposedly true, unless of course you buy into the the Harper regime’s Con job!

      • Yes, I agree. I was being sarcastic. Tax cuts don’t create jobs. Free trade doesn’t create jobs. It’s all a bunch of bullsh*t: self-serving ideology cooked up by corrupt businessmen.

      • The way I see it, there is a solution. Raise corporate taxes significantly, then offer tax incentives based on the number of newly-hired (and retained) Canadians, with additional breaks for investment in the career development of young Canadians and recent graduates. If it were obvious to the bean-counters that hiring and investment in the career development of the age groups mentioned is worth their while, they may finally stop their penny-pinching to inflate their undeserved bonuses.

  4. LOL So which of the socialist parties, the NDP or the Liberals, will be pushing an affirmative action jobs program for men aged 25-54. I’m sure it would go over well with their supporters.

    • Your base is slip-sliding away Ricky.

      • I don’t have a base, I have feet on my legs.

        • And a big silver key in your back.

          • I’m shocked that my chiropractor never mentioned that.

          • You’re easily shocked. Everything about the 21 century shocks you. LOL

          • That my chiropractor DID say.

          • See….chiropractors have value. LOL

        • And advocating for a job plan that doesn’t exist!!! YUPP!!!, Typical Con myth -making. Maybe the Cons have created a job for you, pushing for their non-existent program!!!! I hope the pay is more realistic than the plan that we have been hearing about over and over again.

      • Right with your alimony.

    • I guess you are now fully enrolled in the Jobs plan that is being advertised on TV by the Cons!!! OOPS that plan that has been blasted on our sets for the last year is non-existent. Could it be that the opposition parties are pushing for something more ….real?

  5. Over the past few years Canadian and American companies have created millions of jobs.
    in third world countries.
    Mit Romney`s Bain Investments is a good example. In the early 90`s Bain bought hundreds of large and small ,SUCCESSFUL American companies. Fired the workers and relocated overseas mostly to China..as well as Mexico and India.

    Every one” studies their navel” as to WHY our economies (Canada and U.S.)have NOT recovered as they did after the last depression. During the last depression THERE WAS A MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY TO RECOVER……….THERE IS NONE LEFT!!! on this go around

    Educated white males?………..just ask a young man the next time you pass through a McDonald`s what field his degree ( Masters or PH.D ) is in. You will be surprised.

    • Oh enough with the blarney….nobody with a PhD is working in McDonalds unless he chooses to. Don’t be daft

      • And you have checked this out for yourself????
        “unless he chooses to”
        Yes he does choose to do so.
        He gets hungry and wants to EAT.

        • Canada has a shortage of PhDs….and they are vital. We’re having to import them fercrisakes….so don’t tell me PhDs are working at McDonalds.

          • Check a few employees and see for yourself.
            Architecture. History… for example..but many with a Masters in other areas…….Young graduates without connections .
            If you prefer to employ an optimistic view..who am I to rain on your parade…Have a pleasant evening

          • It’s like all the surgeons operating cabs right? Urban legend crap.

          • As I have said several times before. I ALWAYS ENJOY YOUR POSTS (do not always agree) You have a pleasant day.

  6. Don’t worry. Larry Summers, who even with $3 trillion dollars of stimulus from the US Federal Reserve, has a worse job creation record as primary economic advisor for Obama in his first term is advising Liberals this weekend how to make things better.

    But all those rentiers and trust fund babies and 1%’ers living off of asset based income are doing just great with Larry Summers’ economic policies. All the bankers got bailed out. All the bankers bonuses restores. The paper assets of the rentiers and trust fund babies, stocks and bonds are at historic bubble like highs.

    • Sorry you are not clear…….so you are BLAMING THE SITUATION ON LIBERALS?
      Interesting concept.

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