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INDUSTRY PULSE: Transportation and warehousing lagging on productivity gains

OTTAWA, Ont. -- The transportation and warehousing sector will have to take a close look at its productivity gains...


OTTAWA, Ont. — The transportation and warehousing sector will have to take a close look at its productivity gains over the past six years, following the disappointing results released by Statistics Canada this week.

Industries that experience the most rapid economic growth tend to be those with the highest productivity gains. Yet the latest report on productivity gains from Statistics Canada, which examined the period of 1997 to 2003, shows the transportation and warehousing sector lagging considerably behind the Canadian business in its ability to boost productivity.

Transportation and warehousing managed just a 0.2% increase in multi-factor productivity from 1997 to 2003, compared to 1.5% for the Canadian business sector overall. In further contrast, the manufacturing sector increased its productivity 1.8%, wholesale and retail trade both increased their productivity 2.9% while the construction sector boosted productivity 1.2% during this time period.

Multi-factor productivity is measured as the difference in real output minus the combined growth of capital and labor inputs.


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