This paper examines whether the unemployment gap between Canada and the US arises from longer unemployment spells or a higher risk of experiencing unemployment in Canada, as the former case has stronger policy implications. We find that the Canadian situation is characterized by longer unemployment spells for men, and a higher risk of experiencing unemployment for women. This indicates that the policy against unemployment should be targeted on the long-term unemployed to reduce the future persistence of unemployment, and that further research in the exact causes of the higher duration of unemployment is relevant.