Boneheads abound

I usually don’t call people boneheads but come on:

Jason Childs, an economist with the University of New Brunswick in Saint John, said the Bathurst call centre closure may be an indicator of a boom in the local or the provincial economy. “It could indicate that the economy around Bathurst has gotten a lot better in the last year or two,” he said. “Or it could mean that with the economy improving in places like Saint John, the people who were in Bathurst and would be working in a call centre there are here.”

Do professors live completely in isolation? Are they hermetically sealed into their academic bubbles?

It is far more likely that the people won’t work $9/hour jobs. “Boom in the local economy” Come on. Companies were having trouble recruiting $9/hour call centre workers when there was 18% unemployment in northern NB communities.

The reality is you can’t expect $30/hour mill workers to downgrade to $9/hour call centre jobs.

Boom. Golly gee.

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0 Responses to Boneheads abound

  1. nbt says:

    The reality is you can’t expect $30/hour mill workers to downgrade to $9/hour call centre jobs.

    And you can’t expect their kids to stay around and work those jobs either.

    Reminds me of a conversation I had a few years ago with an articulate, beautiful young francophone girl when waiting at the Montreal airport for the connection to Ottawa. She said she was happy in Bathurst but the pay just wasn’t there, so she decided to make a move. In desperation, her boss offered to doctor her employment records (add weeks) so she could stay in NB (draw EI) and mull over her decision. She said thanks but “no thanks” and headed to Ontario to stay with some friends (jobless and full of hope).

    You know what surprised me the most from that whole conversation? It was the illegal offer from her boss. It really does show the mentality of some of the people running things in NB, not to mention, the terrible example they are setting for the youth in our region. No wonder they’re leaving.

  2. mikel says:

    We’ve had that conversation before and that’s always been the root of the EI problem-jobs that won’t sustain people. However, don’t be too hard on economists, you’ll notice he said ‘could’ and obviously didn’t put much thought into it. Simon Lebreton gets more lines than him, and his aren’t much better-I always chuckle when the word ‘potential’ is thrown in there.

    It COULD be what the economist says, we don’t know. ‘Boom’ is of course relative, but you’ll notice that the ED guy from Chaleur said that ten years ago there were 300 in call centres, now there are over a thousand. So it COULD be what he says, that people are making decent money in OTHER call centres.

    But I’d agree, unlike construction, its hard to ‘entice’ people back home to a $9 an hour job. Notice how the paper is trying to make it sound decent by adding the minimum wage in there. As if people are going to relocate for a minimum wage job!

    I found it funny how the company and the ED guys said they ‘tried everything’- websites, radio ads-as though the only problem was that they weren’t ‘reaching’ people. They tried everything but raising the wages!

  3. Anonymous says:

    There is lots of talk about a labour shortage but, for now, in NB it is more accurate to describe our situation as a shortage of cheap labour.

    Business success will be no longer possible because of low wages. We will have to be smarter, more productive, use better technology etc. This will be painful to some businesses perhaps to the point of closure but in the end, we will all be better for it if we want to be globally competitive.

  4. richard says:

    UNBSJ – need one say more? Close it before it spreads!! And for heaven’s sake, don’t compound the problem by giving these dolts a med school.

    economists – need one say more? A once-proud discipline now sunk in a morass of ideological tar. Only a lazy journo would bother asking an economist what s/he thinks.