Labour market reporting

I’ll just make a couple of points on this. The employment picture in NB so far this year has been improving – somewhat after zero growth in 2005. But I have to say the reporting in the T&T continues to be just silly (the TJ is actually reporting versus transcribing the Minister’s press release).

Really, does this stuff pass for reporting?

Here’s a sample:

T&T: Strong employment growth continues in province: minister
TJ: “It’s not a significant change,” said Vincent Ferrao, a labour force analyst with Statscan

T&T: This is more proof of a clear strategy to create a positive business, working and training environment under the premier’s vision of the Five in Five Initiative.”
TJ: The province’s service industries added new 1,000 jobs in April, but those gains were offset by losses in other sectors of the economy, he said (Statscan economist).

So, essentially, the TJ is trying to actually report the news with some analysis (i.e. gains in services, losses in other areas) while the T&T is promoting Premier Lord.

So, for Monctonians who aren’t able to read any kind of nuanced look at this type of information, here’s my mini-analysis:

Seasonally adjusted employment in New Brunswick grew by 0.1% in April – much higher in Nova Scotia 0.5% and PEI, 2.5% and Newfoundland 1.5%. Why the T&T thinks that doesn’t matter is beyond me.

Moncton’s unemployment rate at 7.9% and now Fredericton is up to 7.8% – this could indicate some emerging challenges in the workforce in the two most successful urban economies – I wouldn’t push the panic button yet – but it would be very wise for the politicians to monitor this and the public to read about it.

We continue to add service jobs (read retail and other lower wage jobs) and lose manufacturing jobs. This, again, is a serious trend that the 20-something Training Minister Carr should be concerned about instead of pitching the ‘5 in 5’.