Job displacement (involuntary job loss due to firm closure or downsizing) affects
many workers over their lifetime. Displaced workers may face long periods of unemployment
and, even when they find new jobs, tend to be paid less than in their prior jobs.
Helping them get back into good jobs quickly should be a key goal of labour market
policy. This report looks at how this challenge is being tackled in Canada. While
the Canadian government uses several measures to prevent unnecessary layoffs, the
focus is placed on assisting workers after they have lost their job via the Employment
Insurance system and the core labour market programmes operated by the Provinces.
Re-employment assistance tailored to meet the specific needs of displaced workers
also plays a useful role, but needs to be reinforced so as to start the adjustment
process earlier for workers receiving advance notice or a large severance payment
and to reach workers affected by small-scale displacements. Targeted programmes for
older displaced workers with long-tenure who are hardest hit have yet to reach a large
share of this group.