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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

September 02, 2020


In 2020Q2, Labour productivity of Canadian businesses increased strongly at 9.8 per cent following a record increase of 4.5 per cent in 2020Q1. In 2020Q2, Labour productivity of Canadian businesses year-over-year growth increased 14.9 per cent over 2019Q2.

In 2020Q2, Real gross domestic product (GDP) of businesses declined 14.5 per cent over 2020Q1, with hours worked down 22.1 per cent. As lockdown measures to contain COVID-19 were continued until early May, both business output and hours worked declined in double digits in 2020Q2. As hours worked declined at much faster pace than business output which reflect the strong productivity growth. Total compensation per hour worked was up 14.3 per cent over 2020Q1.

Unit labour costs increased 4.1 per cent in 2020Q2 following an increase of 0.7 per cent in 2020Q1. The last quarterly increase of this magnitude was 3.6 per cent in 1986Q4.

Measured in US dollars, Canada's unit labour costs increased 1.0 per cent in 2020Q2, following a 1.1 per cent decline in 2020Q1. Unit labour costs in US dollars have increased 3.4 per cent since Q2 2019.

Note: Labour productivity, GDP and, unit labour costs cover the business sector only. Labour productivity is a measure of real GDP per hour worked. Unit labour cost is defined as the cost of workers' wages and benefits per unit of real GDP.

Statistics Canada.  Table  36-10-0206-01   Indexes of business sector labour productivity, unit labour cost and related variables

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