In Memoriam: Perspectives on Labour and Income
Another sad tombstone to the shrinkage of information for informed social and economic policy – Statscan has decided to discontinue “Perspectives on Labour and Income” in both print and online format.
For as long as I can remember, Perspectives reliably provided a firm empirical base for policy debate on key labour market and income issues -Â everything from rising income and wealth inequality, toÂ changes in the quality of jobs, to the relation between changes in households and labour markets, toÂ the state ofÂ pensions,.
The published studies were accessible, scrupulously impartial, and encouraged other researchers to dig deeper into the data. Often, these studies were based on data not readily available to others (such as tax based records) and they helped improve the quality of the underlying surveys. While it is a bit invidious to single out individuals, Perspectives contributions by Michael Wolfson, Garnett Picot, Rene Morrissette, Diane Galernau, Ross Finnie, Brian Murphy, John Myles and Katherine Marshall among many others were all reliably interesting and pertinent.
At a time when we are losing key sources of data – a reliable long form census, longitudinal surveys, the workplace survey – the loss of a regular source of Statscan analysis is especially troubling.
Statscan promises a new online publication on social statistics from the fall, but I strongly suspect that it just won’t be the same.
Meanwhile, Miles Corak has posted an excellent commentary on the demise of Statscan longitudinal surveys.