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Canada ranks fifth among G7 countries in job creation, OECD report says

Dozens of people line up to register for the The National Job Fair & Training Expo at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 2012.

J.P. MOCZULSKI/The Globe and Mail

A new OECD report suggests Canada's labour market has yet to fully recover from the recession and is not the strongest in the G7, as often claimed by the Harper government.

The numbers from Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development suggests Canada places fifth in terms of job creation.

The OECD data measures what economists call the employment rate, which is the percentage of the working age population that actually has a job.

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By that measure, only two countries in the G7 – Germany and Japan – have a higher percentage of employed today than when the recession began in the fall of 2008. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom and France are close to returning to pre-slump levels.

Canada's employment rate at the end of 2013 stood at 72.4 per cent among 15 to 64 year olds which, while high, is still 1.3 percentage points lower than before the recession.

The worst performers are the United States and Italy, with employment rates of 3.8 and 3.3 percentage points below pre-recession levels respectively.

Economists say while Canada did create over one million new net jobs since the recession, that growth barely kept up with population growth and, as a result, there are more unemployed Canadians today than in 2008.

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