Seasonal Variations in the Canadian Economy: Employment and Unemployment


241 pages
Contains Illustrations, Bibliography
ISBN 0-660-51853-8




Reviewed by Toby Rupert

Toby Rupert was a librarian living in Toronto.


Ever wonder what “seasonally adjusted figures” means? This book explains all, but not in the layman’s language. Computers can now produce thousands of economic time series in both unadjusted and seasonally adjusted forms at relatively low costs. But, as Statistics Canada states in its preface here, “seasonal fluctuations have not received the attention warranted by their quantitative importance, particularly in Canada where seasonality is very strong because of the extremes in climate.” Yet the fluctuations are important to understand because more equipment, raw materials, and labour are required than if the activity proceeded at an even pace throughout the year. Knowledge of seasonal patterns facilitates better planning during peak periods and trough periods. Several government statisticians cover different topics here, such as cause, effect, methodological concepts, history, and the specifics of employment and unemployment. Seasonality ultimately results from non-economic factors such as the climate and politics; thus, materials here are mainly descriptive. Three appendices contain tables and graphs, and there are parallel columns of text in both French and English.


Statistics Canada, “Seasonal Variations in the Canadian Economy: Employment and Unemployment,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 20, 2024,