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Impacts of structural changes in the Canadian economy

In Canada, as in many industrialized countries, a combination of factors, including stronger productivity growth among goods than services producers, competition from low-cost foreign producers of clothing, textiles and other goods and strong growth in demand for intermediate and final services, have led, over time, to a major change in the structure of the economy. The shift of labour from manufacturing to services has followed a more gradual trend in Canada than the United Kingdom, the United States and many other OECD countries and, over the 1976–79 to 2001–05 period examined in the paper, output in Canadian manufacturing still increased at a significant pace – suggesting the Canadian economy does not meet the more restrictive criteria of de-industrialization. The structural changes that have taken place and continue to occur, however, have potentially important implications for the nature of work and for productivity and income growth in the Canadian economy.