Fraser Institute press release: Australians are enjoying higher labor productivity growth and higher living standards than Canadians, largely due to improvements in their mining and energy sector


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VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 12. 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Over the past 25 years, Australians have enjoyed higher labor productivity growth — a key driver of rising living standards — than Canadians, thanks in large part to greater improvements in the mining and energy sector, according to the findings of a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, nonpartisan Canadian public policy think tank.

“The evidence is clear: Australian workers have improved their productivity at a faster rate than Canadian workers over the past 25 years, leading to a widening gap in living standards between the two countries,” said Stephen Kirchner , senior researcher at the Fraser Institute. and co-author of The Canada-Australia Business Sector Productivity Gap: A Sectoral Analysis.

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The study finds that between 1995 and 2019, labor productivity per worker in Australia – essentially the ability of workers to turn inputs into outputs – improved, on average, by 1.6% per year. Meanwhile, Canada’s average annual growth was 1.3%.

While this difference may seem small, over time it gets worse and results in bigger and bigger differences in the average standard of living of Canada compared to Australia.

Importantly, Australia’s overall productivity growth has been bolstered by improvements in its mining and energy sectors relative to Canada, which has lagged. Australia’s mining sector contributed 0.3 percentage points to its overall average labor productivity gain of 1.6%, compared to just 0.04 percentage points to Canada’s overall average growth of 1.3% .

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“For a number of reasons, Australia is an important comparator country for Canada, and in recent years Australia has done a better job of capitalizing on its natural resources than Canada,” Kirchner said.

Stephen Kirchner, Principal Investigator
Fraser Institute

To arrange media interviews or for more information, please contact:
Bryn Weese, Director of Communications
604-688-0221 ext. 589
[email protected]

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The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and education organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal and links to a global network of think tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to improve the quality of life of Canadians, their families and future generations by studying, measuring and widely communicating the effects of government policies, entrepreneurship and choices on their well-being. To protect the independence of the Institute, it does not accept government grants or research contracts. Visit



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