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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Doug McCann Research and Statistics Officer
Tel: 902-424-2141Email:

September 06, 2017

Labour productivity of Canadian businesses was down 0.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2017, following three consecutive quarters of growth. This decline is partially attributable to a recovery in hours worked in the second quarter. Labour productivity grew in the goods (+0.6%) sector, and edged down 0.3 per cent in the services-producing sector. The main sources of productivity growth in the goods sector was utilities (+3.6%). In the services producing sector, retail and wholesale trade and information and culture all showed increases, but were offset by declines in other services.

Real gross domestic product (GDP) of businesses was up 1.3 per cent in Q2 while hours worked rose 1.4 per cent. Hours worked rose 1.2 per cent in goods and 1.4 per cent in services-producing businesses.

Unit labour costs were down 0.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2017, mainly due to a decline in average compensation per hour (-0.9%) while productivity was stable. Measured in US dollars, Canada's unit labour costs were down 2.4 per cent as the average value of the Canadian dollar relative to the US dollar was down 1.6 per cent in the quarter. Compared to 2012 Q4, unit labour costs in US dollars have fallen 24.6 per cent.

Note: Labour productivity, GDP and, unit labour costs cover the business sector only. Labour productivity is a measure of real GDP per hour worked. Unit labour cost is defined as the cost of workers' wages and benefits per unit of real GDP.

Statistics Canada -Labour productivity, hourly compensation and unit labour cost, second quarter 2017

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