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Stocking up the Toolkit? Canada’s Falling Business Investment Per Worker

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How does Canada's investment in its workers compare globally? Below are figures for 2015, converted to Canadian dollars.

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C.D. Howe Institute | Source: Dachis, Robson, and Jacobs (2015)

How does Canada fare globally in business investment per worker? In this Graphic Intelligence, we provide a global comparison of Canadian business investment per worker compared to some of our competitors. Historically, Canadian businesses have tended to invest less per worker than their counterparts abroad. On average, Canadian workers received 82 cents of new investment for every investment dollar provided other OECD workers from 2006 to 2010. After rising to a comparative high of 90 cents in 2013, Canadian investment per worker is set to fall to 81 cents for every dollar of investment elsewhere in the OECD in 2015.

Notice Canada’s performance relative to the United States, which accounts for about one-half of total OECD investment. It shows a reversal of what had been an encouraging trend. Over much of the past 10 years, investment in Canadian workers was catching up with investments in their American counterparts. After enjoying only 72 cents of new investment for every dollar garnered by US workers from 2006 to 2010, Canadian workers enjoyed 78 cents in 2012. But that measure has fallen since. Indeed, the average Canadian worker in 2015 looks likely to receive only 69 cents of new investment for every dollar enjoyed by US workers.

To read more on how Canadian businesses can invest in workers, read "A Crisis of Capital: Canadian Workers Need More Tools, Buildings and Equipment," by Benjamin Dachis, William B.P. Robson and Aaron Jacobs.

© 2019 C.D. Howe Institute. All Rights Reserved.
© 2019 C.D. Howe Institute. All Rights Reserved.