Employment rate for Canadians aged 15 to 64 at record highs, but population aging limits overall labor market recovery

Fraser Institute

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 28. 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The employment rate for Canadians aged 15 to 64 (of working age) is at an all-time high, but the overall job market has yet to fully recover from the pandemic – recession caused by the continued aging of the country’s population, according to a new study by the Fraser Institute, an independent, nonpartisan Canadian public policy think tank.

The study compares labor statistics for the first five months of 2022 against the same period in 2019 to gauge the country’s labor market recovery. In total, there were 347,300 more potential workers aged 15 to 64 in 2022 compared to 2019. However, there were 533,120 more people employed in this age category in 2022 than in 2019, surpassing largely population growth.

“Clearly, the labor market, and specifically employment levels of working-age Canadians, have more than rebounded from the pandemic-induced recession,” commented Tegan Hill, an economist at the Fraser Institute and co- author of An aging population: the demographic drag on the Canadian labor market.

The absence of a full recovery in the employment rate is explained by the aging of the Canadian population. The study shows that there were 729,100 more people over the age of 65 in 2022 compared to 2019, but only 62,680 were in employment. In other words, only 8.6% of new people aged over 65 in 2022 compared to 2019 are employed.

“Population aging will continue to dampen the labor market as older people continue to make up a larger share of the population over 15, assuming there is no change in their participation rates. or employment,” said policy analyst Alex Whalen. at the Fraser Institute and co-author of the study.

“Canada needs to reassess policies that prevent potential workers over the age of 65 from participating in the labor market.

Tegan Hill, Economist
Fraser Institute

Alex Whalen, Policy Analyst
Fraser Institute

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The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and education organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal and links to a global network of think tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to improve the quality of life of Canadians, their families and future generations by studying, measuring and widely communicating the effects of government policies, entrepreneurship and choices on their well-being. To protect the independence of the Institute, it does not accept government grants or research contracts. Visit www.institutfraser.org