Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

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. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Monday, March 14, 2005

Effect of the NHL Lockout on Canadian Unemployment

What effect do you think the NHL lockout had on overall employment in Canada?

My estimate is not much, if any. People who didn't spend their money on hockey, spent it somewhere else. People probably lost jobs in some readily identifiable sectors of the economy because of the lockout; at the same time, people gained jobs in many other sectors, spread throughout the rest of the economy. The overall effect was probably near zero.

CTV, a Canadian television network, has issued a report implying otherwise.[thanks to BrianF for the link].
Canada's jobless rate remained at 7.0 per cent in February, and that could be a result, at least in part, of the NHL's ongoing labour dispute and the strong Canadian loonie.

It is difficult to figure out what CTV is trying to say. Do they think the unemployment rate would have been even lower if there had been no NHL lockout? If so, they are probably incorrect.

Here is what Statistics Canada really said:
Employment fell by 20,000 in accommodation and food services, and StatsCan said the NHL dispute, which kept a lot of people out of pubs and taverns, may be partly to blame.

The full report merely describes the sectors which gained or lost jobs.
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