Spinning wheels

Those of you who have been reading my blog for several years will know that I went from annoyance to frustration to anger back to annoyance with how government’s portray the monthly labour force data coming out of Statistics Canada. In good months, it’s all “our plan is working” and “this shows the policies we have put in place are providing good jobs for New Brunswickers” yadda yadda yadda. Then when things turn badly (see below), they either talk about the year-over-year data or they eventually (like the former government) just try and ignore the numbers all together.

The Libs fell into the same trap. They crowed last year about the great job creation. The Premier talked at length about it in his SOTP. But everyone who even looks at this stuff in a cursory fashion couldn’t square the plant closures with the jobs data. We may now be starting to see the filtering of the forestry troubles into the economy at large. I don’t have access to the sector-specific stuff – the media does – I have to pay for it, it would be interesting to see what the sector specific data looks like.

You can be sure that the Minister tomorrow won’t be saying that the job creation over the month proves the self-sufficiency agenda is working.

But again, live by the sword – die by the sword. The numbers may turn up again next month. What we do know is that over time 3-4-5-10 years – our employment growth – private sector – is one of the worst in Canada.

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0 Responses to Spinning wheels

  1. mikel says:

    To be fair, NB did have one of the highest growth rates last year, and the last month was pretty brutal.

    If you want those stats, you can get a library card from a university library which gets you better access to statscan data. Sometimes if you aren’t a student they won’t let you login to quest, but its worth checking out. And you could always ask a student…or get a very helpful librarian who knows the administrative password:)

    But if you would actually use it, you should start an online appeal-paypal accounts are free to setup and I’d definitely chip in-I come here for the info not for your crazy ass ‘opinions’ (I’m kidding). I think its like $350 per year for full access to all their publications (though your employer should be chipping in as well, good info is pretty essential to a economic developer n’est pas?)

  2. nbt says:


    Good points.

    btw, I have a couple of questions for you? (since I know u are great with stats…contrary to what mikel believes above lol) Can you direct me to a link that shows the provinces per capita spending/CPI for the last six years including ’07 as well as provincial spending as a percentage of GDP (provincial comparisons). Any help would be much appreciated.

  3. Anonymous says:

    “But if you would actually use it, you should start an online appeal-paypal accounts are free to setup and I’d definitely chip in”

    Now David, don’t be encouraging more handouts from our rich Ontario friends 🙂

  4. Anonymous says:


    “The labour force has grown significantly over the last few months, and once again this demonstrates the New Brunswickers have confidence in our economy and our strategies to create a self-sufficient province,” Doherty said.

    These predictions are getting too easy for you.

  5. David Campbell says:

    NBT, sorry, I am posting from home – all I did was take the provincial budgets found by typing ‘ontario budget’ in Google and dividing it over the population. I suspect that Fraser or CD Howe or others must track this data for every year.

  6. mikel says:

    I didn’t say anything about per capita spending, the post was about JOBS, which you can easily find at statistics Canada. NB was one of the highest ones.

    That doesn’t change the prediction (which turned out to be true), but only means you have to put it in perspective. IF the province had one of the highest growth rates, then its worthwhile them mentioning it. Forestry jobs and sector by sector breakdowns are a different story, I still have Davids’ chart showing sector specific job growth (or decreases) on my desktop. You can even skip forestry, just as worrisome, maybe even moreso, is the radical decreas in manufacturing. THAT has in impact all over, not just rural forestry towns.

    PS: Its nice to at least be THOUGHT to be rich-albeit not as nice as it probably is to BE rich!

  7. nbt says:

    Thanks for the tip. I have found the spending trends for NB and other provinces (federal dept. of finance), now I can’t seem to pinpoint real GDP from 2004 to 2007 (in millions). I think I may require $$$ to access them on StatsCan? Any hints???

  8. nbt says:

    Thx a million, David!