Broken Record

It’s official. The NB Liberal government is now the former Tory government when it comes to spin.

From Statistics Canada:

4,400 decline in employment in May
Biggest decline in the country month over month
Five straight months of well below average employment growth

From the government:

Figures released by Statistics Canada showed that the number of employed persons in New Brunswick increased on a year-over-year basis to 362,900, up by 2,100 compared to the same time last year

No mention of the monthly data but we do get this little jewel:

“We examine these figures on a year-over-year basis for the most accurate picture of New Brunswick’s labour force,” Keir said.

That’s fun. When the month over month stuff looked better, the Minister’s press release was all about the monthly data. Here’s another nugget of joy:

Employment growth in May was strongest in these top three areas on a year-over-year basis: professional, scientific and technical services; utilities; and public administration.

Employment growth in May was strongest….. (on a year-over-year basis). That is almost the equivalent of spin slight of hand. Employment growth in May (actually employment was down 4,400 jobs) but then you throw in that year over year thing. Fun stuff.

When are the politicians and their handlers going to realize that it is okay to either a)say nothing or b) tell the unvarnished truth. Why would it be so bad for the Minister to be quoted as saying “The 2007 numbers are trending downward and we are concerned. We were hoping that the Energy hub by now would have turned this numbers upward. The impact of the forestry sector may be dragging down….” Or whatever.

That would be a far more important contribution than that boilerplate that the media isn’t buying anyway these days.

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0 Responses to Broken Record

  1. nbt says:

    Oh oh, the word ‘boilerplate’ has come out. Now I know you’re mad. lol

  2. Anonymous says:

    Even if there was growth, is it a sign of a healthy econmy when the jobs are with government and government utilities especially in the “most bloated government” in the country?

  3. Entreprenuer says:

    My high level analysis is that the “Ruling Class” in New Brunswick consistently under delivers. This elite is well entrenched and probably is the cause of Province being a “Have Not” province. Unfortunately, this group excels in self perpetuation. The ruling establishment includes Provincial, Local governments, NB Power, Universities, etc.,.

    Entrepuener

  4. mikel says:

    That’s hardly high level analysis. The ‘ruling establishment’ is the councillors on the Miramichi local government and not Mccains or Irvings? That’s an interesting view.

  5. Entreprenuer says:

    mikel, high level (more gray) in this context refers to the level of abstraction. This requires a lot more study to become a low level fact (back and white). McCains and Irvings are one of the few true success stories, N.B. has got. I would not mind having a few more of them large employers, matching the public sector and University in Fredericton.

  6. mikel says:

    I have no idea what the first half of that meant, but as for the second, that’s a contentious and debatable issue.

    There is simply no doubt they are ‘success’ stories for the business world, meaning they are themselves very successful.

    And as said, it MAY be a good thing to have more large employers like that (depending on the details of course).

    However, the real issue now is at what level has their success cost NB ITS success. Most of the Irving success has cost NB a LOT. Again, for a province the size of NB with two massive multi billion dollar companies, there is simply no reason why the province is among the most poor jurisdictions in North America.

    And there is the issue as to how much this costs NB. For example, right now the province COULD have other large industry players. IF St. John and the province had a brain, when Irving ‘threatened’ to not put in a Natural Gas Terminal the province could have gone to one of the dozen companies TRYING through referenda to get a terminal located stateside. The province could have told Irving ‘that’s fine, since we have no obligation to hold a referendum we’ll get a pretty good deal elsewhere’.

    Just allowing an LNG terminal would have solved the whole Passamaquoddy mess, that company would have LOVED to avoid the extremely costly american regulatory process for Canada’s rubber stamp process. Or the company that was going to set up in Levi, which offered the city guaranteed profit sharing, and tons of goodies for the town.

    And that is just ONE example in one industry. The problem, of course, is when a company gets TOO big, and wants too many favours then its success comes at the cost of the public.

    So it may be true that David has a point and more FMN investment is a good thing, but that it would be ‘like’ Irving or McCains is debateable point. I still remember when miscarriages were common up the St. John river valley, linked to a specific pesticide. Plus, by synchronizing its agricultural policy to McCains, the province essentially killed the agricultural ‘farming’ industry. There are more farmers on PEI, one third the size, than there is in NB. Most farms in the McCain ‘area’ are corporate farms tied to McCain and run by managers, not owners.

    Those are some quick facts, those are issues that SHOULD be studied heavily, but I’ve looked for specifics and can’t find many studies, so we simply don’t know. What we DO know is that MORE Irvings would essentially have the province being a toilet, since one of the standout features of Irving has always been a blatant disregard for environmental regulations-and lobbying against them.