Canada's living standards are improving faster compared to the United States, according to report that analyzes 15 years of economic data.
The report, released Wednesday by Statistics Canada, evaluates labour productivity, real gross domestic product per capita and real gross national income per capita from the first quarter of 1997 to the first quarter of 2011.
While comparisons of labour productivity show that Canada has lagged 17 per cent behind the U.S., the two other measures show that Canada's living standards improved.
It's the other two measures — real GDP and GNI per capita — that paint a more comprehensive picture, argues analyst Ryan Macdonald, the author of the report.
Based on real GDP per capita, Canada's living standards improved 5 per cent relative to the U.S.
"A large part of the difference in the trajectories of labour productivity and GDP per capita between Canada and the United States has been because of better job growth in Canada," Macdonald said in the report.
"A larger proportion of the population that is working raises real GDP per capita. However, it also raises the number of hours worked, and therefore lowers labour productivity."
Based on real GNI per capita, Canada's living standards improved 12 per cent compared to south of the border.
Real GNI is a a measure of real income that focuses on what Canadians can buy with their income.
"Of the three measures considered for this study, real GNI offers the most comprehensive picture of a country's economic performance and changes in living standards," the report said.