Canadians enjoy a high level of well-being. On all eleven components of the OECD’s Better Life Index, Canada performs better than the OECD average. The economy and labour markets stood up better than those of most OECD countries to the ravages of the global financial crisis. Still, there are some areas where the country can do even better. Canada needs to improve its productivity performance, building on the recent increased growth in labour productivity to narrow the gap with top-performing OECD countries in terms of the level of productivity. The productivity gap with the United States is particularly large for small and medium-sized enterprises. Productivity growth could also be more inclusive. People from socially disadvantaged backgrounds and Indigenous communities currently do not participate to the extent that they should in the country’s strong economic performance. Finally, Canada needs to make growth greener, in order to contribute its fair share to the global fight against climate change.
To tackle rising inequalities we need to reassess the way in which our economies grow. By placing inclusiveness at the heart of the growth debate we can open up opportunity so that every citizen can realise their potential, to contribute to, and benefit from, more equitable economic growth, said OECD Secretary-General.
The global economic crisis has had a profound impact on people’s well-being, reaching far beyond the loss of jobs and income, and affecting citizens’ satisfaction with their lives and their trust in governments, according to a new OECD report.
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Gains in female education attainment have contributed to a worldwide increase in women’s participation in the labour force, but considerable gaps remain in working hours, conditions of employment and earnings. More specific data for Canada are available in this country note.
Governments should invest more money on children in the first six years of their lives to reduce social inequality and help all children, especially the most vulnerable, have happier lives, according to the OECD’s first ever report on child well-being in its 30 member countries.