As Canadians get older, economy gets weaker

Extrait de: As Canadians get older, economy gets weaker, stephen Gordon, Globe and Mail Blog, May 30, 2011

Warnings about population aging have been playing in the background of policy debates for two generations now, ever since the decline in the birth rate in the late 1960’s made it inevitable.

But the issue has now moved from being a problem of the future to being one of the present. The share of the working-age population as a share of the total reached its peak in 2008, and even the most optimistic Statistics Canada projection shows a sharp decrease that will continue for at least the next 20 years.

The momentum that has been built into the age structure of the Canadian population means that there’s essentially nothing that can be done to stop this trend. Moreover, higher levels of immigration can have only marginal effects; see this CD Howe Institute study.

Per capita economic growth is easier to sustain if an ever-increasing share of the population is working. And that’s been the case for the past 30 or 40 years, as the baby boom aged into the work force and as more women chose to seek out paid work. Employment growth since 1976 has averaged 1.6 per cent a year, while the population grew at a rate of 1.1 per cent. That extra half a percentage point added roughly 0.3-0.4 percentage points to the average growth rate of real per capita income above what it would have been otherwise. Not only is this source of growth about to disappear, demographic aging is going to start being a negative contributor to economic growth: fewer workers mean less output.

Exacte, une personne retraitée ne produit plus, il ne fait que consommé.

One of the first places we’ll see the effects of population aging is its effect on the government budget balance. The federal government’s strategy relies heavily on growth in revenues from personal income taxes. Since the income tax structure is progressive, a 10 per cent increase in the personal income tax base increases PIT revenues by roughly 13 per cent, so PIT revenues will generally grow faster than the economy. It will be harder to maintain strong growth in personal income tax revenues as large numbers of people age out of the work force.

Higher output per worker would help compensate for a reduction in the number of workers, so productivity will become an increasingly important policy priority. But in the short and medium term, there is no quick fix.

Augmenté la productivité, ça fait des années que l'on essaie, et nos voisins du Sud qui est notre économie de proximité, l'améliorent sans cesse, remarquez ceci aux dépens de la précarité de la classe moyenne qui devient de plus en plus pauvre.

Extrait de : Retiring boomers slowing labour force growth: Statscan, Ottawa— The Canadian Press, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011

Canada's labour force continues to grow but retiring baby boomers will slow the rate of growth to a crawl over the next 20 years, Statistics Canada says.

The agency estimates there could be as many as 22.5 million people working by 2031, up from 18.5 million last year.

However, it projects that the rate of growth will slow to between 0.2 per cent and 0.7 per cent a year from 2021 to 2026. When the boomers were entering the job market in the 1970s, the labour force increased at an average rate of just over 4 per cent a year.

In 1981, there were roughly six people working for each retiree. By 2031, the ratio will be three to one, Statistics Canada forecasts. By that time, the entire baby-boom generation will have reached the age of 65.

The agency also projects that the participation rate in the labour force by 2031 could be as low as it was in the 1970s, with less than 63 per cent of Canadians over the age of 15 at work.

“The projected decline in the overall participation rate over the next two decades would be largely attributable to demographic phenomena, such as the aging of the baby boom cohorts, increasing life expectancy and a fertility rate below the replacement level of 2.1 children per woman,” Statscan said in a release.

Canada's workforce is not only aging, it is also becoming more ethnically diverse. Statscan estimates that by 2031, roughly one in every three people in the labour force could be foreign born.


Quand une personne est la retraite, on a un transfert de ressources:

Travailleurs actifs : qui produisent plus qu’ils ne consomment.

Travailleurs retraités : consomment sans produire.

Une référence qui est souvent utilisée c’est le nombre de travailleurs par retraité, normalement qui est basé les (personnes âgées de 20 à 64 ans/personnes de 65 ans ou plus), en présumant que  les personnes prennent leurs retraites à partir de 64 ans.

Nous savons que le Québec a son creux démographiques
vers 2031 : 2.1 travailleurs/retraité.

Par contre, si les gens prennent leurs retraites plus tôt ce qui semble être le cas pour le Québec, le creux démographique se déplace.


Selon le graphique, si les gens prennent leurs retraites avec une moyenne de 62 ans, le creux démographique se déplace vers 2026, donc 5 ans plus tôt.

Ce qui a une forte incidence sur la richesse du Québec, sachant que l’amélioration du niveau de vie au Québec diminuera presque de moitié dans les quinze prochaines années en raison du vieillissement de la population et de la baisse de la population active, on accélère malheureusement la pauvreté du Québec.

Source : Notre creux démographique se déplace

Even if there was no immigration for the next 30 years, the number of visible minorities in the workplace would be expected to increase.

Visible minority communities in Canada tend to be younger, so fewer members will be retiring over the next three decades, Statscan said. Their children will also be entering the workforce.

The labour force projections are based on five scenarios that combine assumptions on future population growth with assumptions on future labour force participation rates.