Daily smile (grimace) from the T&T

I have been trying to limit the bashing of the Times & Transcript in recent weeks but I had to chuckle on Saturday. The labour force survey was published on Friday and it revealed yet another drop in the number of employed persons in New Brunswick while employment rose across Canada.

However, the story in the T&T painted a highly rosy picture. I know the story was focused mainly on the urban areas in New Brunswick but still, come on, what’s the real issue here?

If you check back over the past three or four years, you will see that the T&T doesn’t run stories about the labour force survey when they perceive the numbers to look bad. Conversely, they run highly positive stories when the number are perceived to look good. Invariably, they will quote Samuel LeBreton who is always using words like strong growth, successful, impressive, etc. Now, Mr. LeBreton may be a left over from the McKenna school of nothing can go wrong, but please, he sees the national data. Just once, I would like Mr. LeBreton to say something like “Despite my constantly positive attitude, I would like to point out that New Brunswick’s employment growth in the past six years has been third lowest in Canada – significantly lower than both PEI and Nova Scotia”. He is, after all, an economist and should be unbiased.

However, I suspect that Al would not print it anyway.

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0 Responses to Daily smile (grimace) from the T&T

  1. Anonymous says:

    I was at the Point Lepreau session yesterday and Lord said there was a record number of jobs in NB. Is he correct?

  2. David Campbell says:

    According to the latest Labour Force Survey, there were 367,600 people working in New Brunswick in August 2005. There were 371,300 workin in August 2004. So technically, there are 3,700 less people working today than a year ago.

    So, no record employment.

    But you have to be careful about how politicians parse words. They are masters at stating grand achievements but without substance. Take the ‘record expenditures’ on health care comment they like to throw around. Well, health care spending has increased every year for decades. Hence, a record every year. Therefore, not much to talk about.

    The reality you will never read in the local paper or hear from local politicians is that PEI and Nova Scotia have creamed us for employment growth since the Tories came to power in 1999.