Canada and the recession

Posted in Economics by Alex L. on December 4, 2011

Economics Sandbox header

My lovely girlfriend, a Canadian citizen, challenged me to write something about the more northerly part of North America. Since I’ve also wanted to write a post dealing with economics, badabing badaboom: here’s an article about the Canadian economy. I’m not a professional economist but this entry (and future ones like it) are my way of engaging with economic facts and data on my own so I don’t have to rely solely on the opinions of commentators. That’s why I’m counting these entries as part of my “Economics Sandbox”. Please feel free to correct, comment, question, and enlighten.

I was recently surprised to read that Canada was weathering the economic downturn much better than the United States. What does that mean exactly? I looked at some data to get a better idea.

Just looking at GDP growth, it looks like Canada’s economic output was affected in almost exactly the same way as the U.S. economy.

Chart of GDP growth in Canada and U.S., 1990-2010

Source: World Bank

But GDP growth is not the only (or even the best) measure of a country’s economic health.When I looked at unemployment rates, it’s clear that America’s labor market has been in worse straits than Canada’s since the recession started in 2008. (more…)