In this latest episode of Pod Bless Canada, MLI communications manager Brett Byers was joined by MLI Munk Senior Fellow Sean Speer, who is the author of an important new paper titled “Forgotten People and Forgotten Places: Canada’s Economic Performance in the Age of Populism.”
Byers and Speer discuss the paper, which delves into the headline data on employment, labour force participation, income, and other key economic indicators to better understand where there may be economic challenges and who is most at risk of falling behind in the modern economy. As Speer explains, drilling down into the data can better inform the political debate and target policies for vulnerable populations and communities.
According to Speer, while headline economic data may seem positive, not all Canadians are benefiting equally. For instance, those without post-secondary qualifications and those who live in rural areas are experiencing far worse labour market conditions, stagnant wages, declining opportunity, and a growing dependence on government transfers.
With the election day mere weeks away, Speer warns that, if the concerns of these "forgotten" people and places are not properly addressed by policy makers, there could be seriously negative economic, political, and social consequences.