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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

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

December 06, 2017

Labour productivity of Canadian businesses was down 0.6 per cent in the third quarter of 2017, after declining 0.2 per cent in the second quarter. Real gross domestic product (GDP) of businesses was up 0.3 per cent in Q3 while hours worked rose 0.9 per cent. Labour productivity declined in the goods (-0.3%) sector with lower productivity in mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction and manufacturing offsetting increases in agriculture/forestry, construction, and utilities. Service-producing business productivity declined 0.4 per cent with the largest declines in real estate (-3.4%) and arts and entertainment (-3.1%).


Unit labour costs increased 1.2 per cent in Q3 after two quarters of decline. Lower labour productivity (-0.6%) and rising compensation per hour (+0.6%) led to the increase. Measured in US dollars, Canada's unit labour costs were up 8.6 per cent as the average value of the Canadian dollar relative to the US dollar was up 7.3 per cent in the quarter.

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, third quarter 2017

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