The paradox: Population growth could limit outward population migration

One of the reasons most cited for not ramping up our immigration efforts is the out-migration of our young people.  Why do we need immigrants when many of our kids can’t find jobs?

As always, the answer is more nuanced.  Many of the kids that leave are professionals that have university education and are not aligned with many of the available jobs in manufacturing and front line services.

My working hypothesis is that more immigration will lead to more higher end professional jobs.  First, you have to realize that most of the professional career jobs in New Brunswick are directly related to the population living in the province.  In other words, the services they provide cater to the population.  If the population is not growing, the number of jobs will not grow either.

Specifically, for every 10,000 people living in New Brunswick, there are (using NHS data):

Over 470 people working in management occupations
66 auditors, accountants and investment professionals
13 insurance adjusters, underwriters and assessors
44 engineers and architects
111 registered nurses and 30 licensed practical nurses
24 physicians
Four dentists
Five optometrists and chiropractors
12 pharmacists
11 physiotherapists and occupational therapists
143 elementary and secondary school teachers
16 lawyers (sorry, it’s true)
54 psychologists, social workers and counsellors
79 police officers and firefighters
26 welders, 27 electricians and 63 carpenters

In fact, for every 10,000 people living in New Brunswick there are 4,800 people working of which more than 3,000 are employed to provide goods and services to New Brunswickers.

A flatlined population means these thousands of jobs will not exist.

In 2006 Shawn Graham set a goal of growing the population by 100,000 by 2026.  We are now in 2015.  If we had the 50,000 population growth, ceteris paribus, we would have at least 15,000 jobs of which thousands would be in professional occupations as described above.

If you want new pharmacists, dentists, electricians, lawyers (sorry, it’s true) to stay in New Brunswick, we need to grow the demand and the demand grows through population growth.

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One Response to The paradox: Population growth could limit outward population migration

  1. > If you want new pharmacists, dentists, electricians, lawyers (sorry, it’s true) to stay in New Brunswick, we need to grow the demand and the demand grows through population growth.

    I’ve been trying to make this argument since I landed here in New Brunswick in 2001. It is given lip-service, but generally drowned out by efforts to “Get our kids to come home again.”

    It is worth noting that even if the 50K people that could have (and should have) arrived here in New Brunswick since I’ve been here were illiterate and unskilled – Sudanese and Syrian refugees, say, or economic migrants from India or Indonesia – they *still* would have produced those 15K jobs, because public services would need to immediately ramp up (often at the federal level) to support them, bringing money *into* the province.

    These 50K people, of course, would not be economically neutral, and would immediately begin transforming their environment into a means of making a living – everything from wood shops to small farms to markets to food products and the arts. These are the things that make a society rich, not the hewing of wood and the drawing of water. Their children would be scientists and engineers, and many of them would stay in New Brunswick, the land and people that welcomed them and gave them a new life.

    The only thing standing in the way are the existing people of New Brunswick, who are famously friendly, but not welcoming of people moving here from ‘away’.

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