John Wiley & Sons Canada, Ltd.

John Wiley & Sons Canada, Ltd.

December 27, 2007 07:00 ET

2008 Economic Trends-Canadians to Have More Leisure Time

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 27, 2007) - We currently live in a Time-Crunch Economy - we don't have enough time for all the items on our calendars.

But with the Boomers retiring at record speed, the opposite is about to happen.

According to economist Linda Nazareth, author of the new book The Leisure Economy, Canadians will soon have more unscheduled time than they have had for decades.

The boomers are being replaced in the workforce by Generation Y, but Gen Y is entering on their own terms. They already know leisure is cool-and they are going to force their employers to give them jobs that let them have a life too. What will this mean for business? For the workplace? For our cities? Nazareth looks not only at the reasons for this coming shift but the repercussions that it will create for workers, families and businesses.

If you'd like to book an interview with the author, or receive a review copy, please contact me at 416.646.4582 or

8 Trends to Watch for When the Leisure Economy Hits

1. In the Workplace, It Will be Time to Welcome Back Fido

With more people looking for leisure or retiring early, companies are going to have to put up with more special requests from employees - like maybe to bring the odd dog, or cat or budgie into the office. Think the days of the boom.

2. Saying "I Was Here All Weekend" May Make You Seem Like a Loser Rather than a Hero

It's very 'baby-boomerish" to brag about working flat out all the time. Gen Y is into having a life; they'll work, but they want their leisure too. (By the way, they know how to use technology so they know they don't have to be in on the weekend anyway).

3. If You Don't Know How to Knit, It Will be Time to Learn

Boomers have been too busy working to take up hobbies. When they retire, they are going to make leisure pastimes huge - even if they have to learn how to knit or rughook or how to play with model trains first (caveat: education will be the biggest growth industry, but it may not be traditional education).

4. Chopping Up Your Own Carrots May Seem Like a Reasonable Thing to Do

In the leisure economy, some people will be coping with lower incomes, so they will not want to pay for the convenience of pre-chopped vegetables or the like. And they'll have more time to do the chopping. Keep an eye on the restaurant industry - it could be forced to adjust as more people cook.

5. People Will be Hitting the Road - and Not Just on the Long Weekends

More "leisurites" means more travel - but a different kind. The new leisure class will have lots of time, so can think in terms of seeing lots of different things, maybe over the course of a few months.

6. There'll be Lots of Volunteers - But They Won't Want to be Candy Stripers, Thanks Very Much

Boomers may be open to the idea of volunteering, but many will want to use the skills they developed when they were working in professional fields. Problem? The volunteer sector isn't well set up to receive their talents, so they may lose them altogether. And keep an eye on Gen Y volunteers. They've spent years volunteering in school, and could be convinced to keep at it if organizations manage them well.

7. If You're Looking for a Business to Start, Try a Moving Company

Boomers will be tapping into the value of their homes in the GTA and looking for cheaper places to live. They'll pull up stakes at a quicker pace than their parents or grandparents. Gen X and Y may move too: they'll want to try out telecommuting and they don't have to be in big city-centres to do that.

8. Loitering Will be Encouraged

Or at least it will be by smart companies. If people don't need to rush back to work, they'll stay in stores longer, and smart ones will offer them comfortable spaces to hang out (Starbucks gets this), or things to do (talk to a nutritionist in a drug store or take a craft class at a craft store).

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