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Economic Viewpoint

The Great Resignation: A Distinctly American Phenomenon?

November 29, 2022
Florence Jean-Jacobs, Principal Economist • Joëlle Noreau, Principal Economist

Much has been said about the Great Resignation that swept through the United States in 2021 and 2022. But did we see a wave of resignations north of the border as well? There’s no sign of it in the labour market data. While the US and Canadian job markets have a lot of similarities, the Great Resignation is a uniquely American phenomenon. There’s also no consensus on what caused it. Canada and Quebec have been hit harder by the Great Retirement. Because of the ongoing labour shortage, workers have the upper hand. As workers remain in short supply, we’re unlikely to see massive layoffs or a spike in unemployment during the upcoming recession. We can therefore expect even more changes in the workplace going forward.

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