Every Canadian would be making an extra $4,200 today had economy stayed at 2015 levels

Real GDP per capita has now declined in five of the past six quarters and is currently near levels observed in 2017.

Every Canadian would be making an extra $4,200 today had economy stayed at 2015 levels
The Canadian Press / Adrian Wyld
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A report from Statistics Canada revealed that had trends under Prime Minister Stephen Harper continued into 2024, each Canadian would be earning approximately $4,200 more per year in annual income than they currently do.

What the report lays out is that, essentially, had the Canadian economy maintained its typical growth rate over the past nine years, Canadians would have seen a natural increase in their paychecks larger than any benefits provided by the Trudeau government.

This includes measures like the one-time $500 top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit in 2022 or the current $650 per child offered to eligible families through the Canada Dental Benefit. The $4,200 figure far exceeds any handout the Trudeau Liberals claim makes life easier for Canadians.

The report from Statistics Canada, authored by researchers Carter McCormack and Weimin Wang, contributes to a growing body of literature indicating a rapid decline in Canadian productivity. This decline is leading to noticeable reductions in income and living standards, with projections suggesting this trend will persist into the foreseeable future.

Recent months have been especially bad for Canadians: "Real GDP per capita has now declined in five of the past six quarters and is currently near levels observed in 2017. Recent reports by Porter (2024), Ercolao (2023), and Marion and Ducharme (2024) have all stressed the trend towards weaker per capita growth, highlighting its negative implications for living standards and wage growth," the report states.

"Recent declines in per capita output have also brought concerns over Canada’s weak productivity performance to the fore since historically, much of the long-term growth in GDP per capita has reflected sustained improvements in labour productivity."

Canada's productivity, which is measured as GDP per hour worked, ranks 18th out of all OECD countries. Canada's weak productivity performance has been highlighted on several occasions, with Bank of Canada Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Rogers saying that the issue has become a national emergency.

“You’ve seen those signs that say, ‘In emergency, break glass.’ Well, it’s time to break the glass,” she said in March.

The report goes into detail on the repercussions of a shrinking GDP, outlining that as the GDP growth rate declines, there's less and less available fixed capital for investing in workers. This, in turn, leads to an overall less productive workforce and stagnant wages.

Meanwhile, Canadians continue to deal with a housing and affordability crisis that is driving Canadians away at a pace that is unmatched by our allies.

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