Regardless of general economic conditions, a large volume of worker reallocation across employers takes place each year. For instance, even though the number of employees aged 18 to 64 remained virtually unchanged at 13.2 million from January 2009 to January 2010, 2.4 million individuals were hired in 2009 (Table 1). During that year, 0.9 million individuals were laid off.Note 5 Among workers aged 25 to 54, total paid employment remained at about 9.7 million, although 1.5 million individuals in this age group were hired and 0.6 million were laid off in 2009. Over the 2003-to-2013 period, the annual number of hires and layoffs in Canada far exceeded annual net changes in employment (Chart 1). This finding highlights an important fact: net employment growth largely underestimates worker movements into and out of firms.
Layoff rates vary across economic regions to a greater extent than hiring rates
From 2003 to 2013, 5.8% of employees aged 18 to 64 were laid-off, on average, on an annual basis (Table 2). During that period, Canada’s hiring rate―the number of individuals hired, as a proportion of average annual paid employment―averaged 20.2%.
Layoff rates differed across provinces to a greater extent than hiring rates. For instance, layoff rates in Newfoundland and Labrador averaged 15.7%, more than three times the rates of 4.7%, 4.4%, 4.9%, and 5.1% observed in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, respectively. In contrast, hiring rates in Newfoundland and Labrador were slightly higher than those in Saskatchewan and almost identical to those in Alberta (Chart 2). Yukon and Nunavut displayed both higher-than-average layoff rates and higher-than-average hiring rates.Note 6