Canada’s labour force ballooned last month thanks to a surge in temporary public-administration work likely generated by the federal election. Economists have also recorded increases in employment after natural disasters or during wars when massive government outlays pour into the economy. But governments don’t have to wait for catastrophes to spend. During the Great Depression when private business activity was subdued, governments successfully put people to work through New Deal programs. In the 1970s, the Liberal government also experimented with direct job creation delivered through local organizations and citizen groups. The Local Initiatives Program successfully hired in areas such as arts and culture, recreation, tourism, research, and protecting the environment.
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