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Nova Scotia Population - Trends and Implications. Lars Osberg Economics Department Dalhousie University June 5, 2007. Why are we worried?. So traditional working age population likely to decline . What’s the context ? Birth rates in Canada and the OECD.

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Nova Scotia Population - Trends and Implications

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Nova scotia population trends and implications l.jpg

Nova Scotia Population- Trends and Implications

Lars Osberg

Economics Department

Dalhousie University

June 5, 2007


Why are we worried l.jpg

Why are we worried?


So traditional working age population likely to decline l.jpg

So traditional working age population likely to decline


What s the context birth rates in canada and the oecd l.jpg

What’s the context ?Birth rates in Canada and the OECD


Forecasting future populations much less reliable for small areas long time scales l.jpg

Forecasting Future Populations ?Much less reliable for small areas, long time scales

  • Population = Births - Deaths + Net Inflow

  • Nationally, migration is policy variable

    • At local level, gross migration flows are much larger than net flows or changes in natural increase

  • Statistics Canada Life Paths model

    • Projects implications of continuation of recent trends – but labour market response is not modeled

      • Shortages => higher wages => changesin migration


Population growth rates births net immigrants deaths l.jpg

Population growth rates= births + net immigrants - deaths


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Participation trumps Demography!


Will there be a labour shortage labour force participation population l.jpg

Will there be a “Labour shortage”?Labour Force = participation*population


V2461272 canada employment rate both sexes 55 v2463162 nova scotia employment rate both sexes 55 l.jpg

V2461272 Canada; Employment rate Both sexes; 55 + V2463162 Nova Scotia; Employment rate Both sexes; 55 +


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V2342629 Canada; Median age; Total, all retirees; Both sexes V2342630 Canada; Average age; Total, all retirees; Both sexes


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Older Workers – increasingly important !


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How long can people work?How long do they want to work?

  • Males 65+

    • labour force participation rate

      1921 - 58.4%

      1931 - 55.7%

      2004 - 11.8%

      • Many reasons to expect future increase

        • jobs are now much less physical

        • workers better educated, career oriented

        • Many need the money

          • 38.4% of retirees need GIS

  • “Working Longer”

    • Social Policy Objective in many countries

    • - only a “good thing” if voluntary


Labour force participation rate source population l.jpg

Labour force = Participation Rate * Source Population

  • “Labour Shortage”

    • = Demand > Supply

      • Wages increase, firms start training, etc.

    • = “Too many jobs”

      • In exactly what sense is this a problem for Atlantic Canada?

  • Forecasts of “shortage” depend on:

    • Demand projections

    • Population & Participation assumptions

    • + Interaction of Supply & Demand

      • in a market economy, firms will raise wages & invest to increase labour productivity

  • Productivity trend dominates GDP growth


  • Is rural viability really the key problem for nova scotia l.jpg

    Is rural viability really the key problem for Nova Scotia?

    • Population decline severe in rural areas

    • Availability of services depends on population base

      • Key issue is Minimum Efficient Scale for schools, hospitals & health services

      • Technical change in telecommunications very rapid – changes space/service relation

    • How is a ‘problem’ defined ?

      • determines which solutions are imagined


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    Useful Web Links

    • OECD - Ageing and Employment Policies

      • http://www.oecd.org/department/0,2688,en_2649_34747_1_1_1_1_1,00.html

    • Policy Research Initiative

      • Population Aging and Life-Course Flexibility

        • http://policyresearch.gc.ca/

          • http://policyresearch.gc.ca/page.asp?pagenm=rp_lc_index

    • http://myweb.dal.ca/osberg/


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