Summary•There are three main groups of actors in the labourmarket: individuals, firms, and the government.Individuals make decisions concerning how theywill earn a living:whether and how much to work,what type of work they will do, and what kinds ofskills they will acquire in order to work. Firmsmake decisions about how much and what type oflabour they will hire.Governments set various poli-cies, many of which have direct implications forthe decisions of individuals and firms, and alsoaffect the operation of the labour market itself.•While there are many dimensions to the decisionsmade by these actors, we can distill the outcomesof the decisions to individual outcomes, especiallyconcerning earnings, employment (or hours), andwages. Preliminary explorations with individual-level data show considerable dispersion in theseoutcomes for Canadians, and systematic differ-ences between men and women.These empiricalfeatures, or “labour market facts,” merit furtherinvestigation in this book.
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