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Survey reveals differences between unemployed in Canada and U.S.

Elizabeth Bromstein|

A new survey shows the differences between unemployed people in Canada and the U.S.

Express Employment Professionals, a franchised staffing firm, compared the results of the “State of the Unemployed” surveys taken in the U.S. and Canada. The Harris Poll surveys were conducted in April, 2014, among 1,500 unemployed adult Americans and 1,502 unemployed adult Canadians age 18 or older.

We’re all already assuming we’re better at being unemployed, right?

I don’t know exactly what that means, but we’re Canadian. We’re better than Americans at everything. We live longer, are better educated, are in better shape, are richer, and we play better hockey. Obviously we’re going to smash those yanks at this unemployment game.

Do we win? I guess that depends on how you see things.

Let’s take a look.

A lot of the numbers are actually pretty close. The difference, for example, between Americans and Canadians who will take any job to pay the bills is only 5%.

And, again, when it comes to slacking off on looking for work, the difference is 4%: “In the U.S., 36 per cent of the unemployed spent five or fewer hours a week looking for work, compared to 32 per cent in Canada.”

So, it’s just worth noting that some of the differences are small.

Here is the rundown:

    “America’s unemployed are more likely to give up, less likely to be on employment compensation, and less likely to go back to school.

    • In the U.S., 47 per cent of the unemployed agree that they have given up looking for work; 39 per cent in Canada report the same.

    • In the U.S., 13 per cent are currently enrolled or have taken classes, compared to 23 per cent in Canada.

    America’s unemployed are more likely to accept any job.

    • In the U.S., 66 per cent say they are willing to accept almost any job that will help pay the bills; 34 per cent say they will only accept a job that they really want to do. In Canada, 61 per cent say they are willing to accept almost any job; 39 per cent say they will only accept one they really want to do.

    • In the U.S., 36 per cent of the unemployed spent five or fewer hours a week looking for work, compared to 32 per cent in Canada.

    Canadians are getting more interviews and turning down more offers.

    • In the U.S., 46 per cent report no job interviews in the previous month; 36 per cent say the same in Canada.

    • In the U.S., 73 per cent report two or fewer interviews in the prior month. Among those unemployed for more than two years, 71 per cent report no interviews in the prior month.

    • In Canada, 66 per cent report two or fewer interviews in the prior month. Among those unemployed for more than two years, 61 per cent report no interviews the prior month.

    • In the U.S., 26 per cent say they are receiving income from doing various odd jobs. 18 per cent of unemployed Canadians say the same.

    • In the U.S., 19 per cent have turned down a job offer; in Canada 24 per cent have done so.

    Canadians are much more likely to say unemployment compensation means they don’t have to look for work as hard.

    • In the U.S., 20 per cent are receiving unemployment compensation, compared to 29 per cent in Canada.

    • Among those receiving unemployment benefits, 48 per cent in the U.S. agree that they haven’t had to look for work as hard knowing they have some income to rely on, while 56 per cent in Canada agree.

    • Among those receiving unemployment benefits, 62 per cent in the U.S. and 74 per cent in Canada agree it has let them take time for themselves.

    • Among those receiving unemployment benefits, 82 per cent in the U.S. say they would search harder and wider for a job if their unemployment compensation runs out before they find work; 87 per cent in Canada say the same.”


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