Economics and Research Branch [textual record]
Record Information – Brief
Economics and Research Branch [textual record]
- Hierarchical level:
- R224-74-0-E, RG27-D
- Type of material:
- Textual material
- Found in:
- Archives / Collections and Fonds
- Item ID number:
- Link to this page:
This link identifies the web page describing this particular record. Unlike the temporary link in your browser, this link will allow you to access, and reference, this page in the future. To link to this descriptive record, copy and paste the URL where ever needed (wiki, blog, document).http://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.redirect?app=fonandcol&id=134358&lang=eng
- Context of this record:
Record Information – Details
- Series includes:
7 lower level description(s)View lower level description(s)
- Bilingual equivalent:
- Place of creation:
- No place, unknown, or undetermined
52.9 m of textual records
ca. 5.4 m of unprocessed textual records.
- Language of material:
- Scope and content:
Series consists of records created and/or maintained by the Economics and Research Branch and its predecessors. The series includes central registry files, strikes and lockouts files, trade dispute ledgers, statistical surveys, files from a Collective Bargaining Surveys Section, labour organization survey records, and University Research Program reports.
- Additional name(s):
- Biography/Administrative history:
Canada. Dept. of Labour. Economics and Research Branch : According to the Department of Labour Annual Report, 1953-1954, the Economics and Research Branch "serves as the central federal agency for economic analysis and research in the field of labour ... including (such subjects as) wages, hours, working conditions, unions, collective bargaining, manpower utilization, employment and unemployment, productivity, occupational and other special studies". Effective 1 January 1966 responsibility for those divisions in the Economics and Research Branch devoted to labour market, employment and manpower resources research were transferred to the Department of Citizenship and Immigration (soon to be the Department of Manpower and Immigration). During a departmental reorganization carried out in 1975-1976, the Labour Data Branch was created out of the former Economics and Research Branch. By 1984, as a result of various departmental reorganizations, the Legislative Research Branch had become the Legislative Analysis and Research Division within the Economics and Industrial Relations Branch. A research agency in a government setting exists primarily to provide a specialized service to the policy-making and operational groups and individuals in the field concerned. Accordingly, its research activities must be focused on the substantive aspects of the decision-making process at both the policy and program levels. These broad economic and social goals constitute the framework for the development of policy and the specific fields for which the Department of Labour is directly responsible and in which it should have an important voice. These specific policy fields are employment, manpower development, labour market, labour relations and labour standards and safety (1963 for this publication, still hasn't changed) Broadly speaking, employment policy is concerned with the maintenance of aggregate demand in the economy at a level which will ensure that all those desiring and needing employment have an opportunity of securing it. The overall objective of policy in this field can also be stated in terms of unemployment rates as has been done by the Economic Council of Canada. In addition, however, employment policy is concerned with the distribution of available jobs as between various parts of the country, as between different seasons of the year, and over the business cycle. In respect to all of these aspects of employment policy, the Department of Labour is vitally interested and therefore should carry out the kinds of research needed to provide a basis for its views and its action where that is appropriate. Some of the research and analytical needs of employment policy, particularly from the point of view of the Department of Labour, are a continuing assessment of economic trends and prospects and their impact on employment and unemployment, studies of the changing structure of labour demand at various phases of the business cycle to detect and anticipate imbalances between demand and supply which may have inflationary or deflationary consequences, investigations of the causes of seasonal patterns in employment and of the ways in which these can be modified to bring demand into better balance with supply and thereby improve the overall efficiency of the economy, and research into regional and area disparities in employment growth and the potentialities for reducing these by selective policies which shift employment towards such regions and areas. Manpower policy, in its broadest sense, is concerned with the development of manpower resources and the functioning of the labour market. It is very important that these two aspects of manpower policy be seen in relation to each other so as to avoid confusion of objectives. Similarly, within the field of labour market policy it is important to distinguish between the external and the internal labour market. The external labour market involves movement from one employer to another and raises many questions about the factors which inhibit geographic, occupational and industrial mobility. The internal labour market involves movement within the company or organization through promotion, transfer, and in other ways. This internal market can be very inefficient through lack of information and because of highly institutionalized procedures which may have resulted from collective bargaining. Manpower development policy, therefore, concerns essentially longrun problems such as the amounts and kinds of education and training which should be given to young people so as to maximize their chances of surviving in the rapidly changing and relatively unpredictable labour market. The important feature of this kind of a problem is that considerable expenditures have to be made far in advance of the returns that can be expected as a result. This is basically an investment type of expenditure and its primary concern from an economic point of view is to contribute to and facilitate economic growth. Here we need to develop a picture of the structure of labour demand five, ten, or fifteen years in the future, and we need to have some way of judging what the resulting changes in manpower needs imply for earnings, and for the substitutability of labour and capital and of one kind of labour for another. Research of this kind again requires a model of the economic system as its basic tool as well as an occupational classification which is training-oriented rather than job-oriented, and some kind of an input-output matrix of the Canadian economy. Labour market policy is primarily concerned with mobility - geographical, industrial, and occupational. The perspective here is relatively short-run, and the need is to obtain and make available advance and current information on the kinds of manpower which are or may be unemployed and on current and emerging job opportunities, to provide the types of retraining, further training and basic educational upgrading which on a least cost basis makes it possible for existing labour supplies to move into vacant jobs, and to ensure that mobility is not hampered because the burden of its costs is beyond the capabilities of individual workers or employers. Much of the information needed in this field will come from the operations of the National Employment Service. The important research tasks concern the scope and nature of mobility, the determinants of mobility, and a continuing analytical assessment of the labour market to identify in advance, if possible, excess demand or supply situations. Research in this field should also focus on the role of earnings in allocating labour supplies so that decisions about labour market and income policies are as consistent and complementary as possible. Another important research and analysis need of both manpower development policy and labour market policy concerns occupations - past, current and future trends in requirements, changing nature or work, types of knowledge and skills required, career opportunities and relationship to other occupations, key conditions of work including remuneration. The National Employment Service, training authorities, guidance counselors, students, and workers in the labour force, all need this kind of information on a continuing basis. The task of developing the policies and procedures necessary to provide it involves many agencies and organizations, but it is essentially a research task which will draw on information from operating agencies and from related research projects. Labour relations policy is concerned with labour unions, employers organizations, and collective bargaining, all of which are important institutions in the labour market. The role of these institutions in the functioning of the market and in wage determination is a major field of policy with which the Department of Labour is primarily concerned. Key research tasks here concern the evolving size and structure of labour organizations and their implications for the labour market, the relation between the goals of workers and their organizations and national economic and social objectives, the structure of collective bargaining and its influence on wage determination and labour-management relations, the extent and way in which the results of collective bargaining facilitate or inhibit labour market adjustments and distribute the costs of these adjustments, and workers' behaviour and motivations. A further important research problem concerns the impact of industrial relations legislation on the labour movement, on cleective bargaining, and on economic development. Labour standards and safety policy has primarily a social rather than an economic basis. Behind this concern, and underlying most government policies in the field, are two assumptions : workers should not be exploited in various ways, and incomes should not fall below some minimum level. Policies of these kinds need to have as much information as possible on the kinds of exploitation that do exist, the basic reasons for such exploitation, and the groups affected. Similar kinds of analysis are needed in respect to the distribution of incomes. Once more, therefore, policy, if it is to be as effective as it should, needs to have a considerable research foundation. The Economics and Research Branch is organized on a functional rather than a subject matter basis. The major functions of the Senior Research Officers, in respect to those projects which report to them, are to discuss plans, problems, and progress with the personnel involved on a regular basis.
- Additional information:
- Source of title:
- Title is based on the contents of the series.
- Further accruals are expected.
- Former archival reference no.:
Ordering and Viewing Options
- Conditions of access:
Copyright belongs to the Crown. In order to protect the fragile originals, the microfilm copies of these records must be consulted rather than the originals.
- Date modified: