Wednesday, 14 December 2011

More Holidays Please, We're Canadian

The Economist has an interesting chart showing employee holiday entitlement in different countries. Workers in Austria, Greece, France and Spain enjoy the most number of holidays per year, while workers in Canada have the fewest.

Fewer holidays might mean that Canadian workers are more productive. According to the Conference Board, however, Canadian productivity is downright dismal. There are several reasons for Canada's low productivity including low investment in machinery and equipment, low R&D intensity, weak innovation record, and a low number of Canadians with advanced degrees in science and technology. There is also some evidence that workers in Canada are paid less than their marginal product of labour.  So, Canadian workers enjoy fewer holidays and are less productive than workers in many other countries. Perhaps, we need more holidays.

1 comment:

  1. Isn’t the Conference Board the same people advocating free trade so that Canada could get away from the branch plant economy and take advantage of increased economies of scale? It never happened. Having worked in the 'real economy' in the 1990s it was my experience that Canadian management was reluctant to improve productivity via fixed capital and happy to lever off the falling loonie; 2/3 of the productivity slowdown in the 1990s was due to manufacturing (which has been gutted) and lower capacity utilization since 2000 hasn't helped either. We continue to have a third rate industrial policy; a non-existent environmental policy and sycophantic energy policy at the moment so the productivity issue won't improve anytime soon.