June labour force data

As you know, I always chuckle in this corner every month when the labour force survey comes out. Mostly, the news tends to be fair to bad for New Brunswick and the overall trends are among the worst among Canada’s provinces for labour force growth, employment growth, employment rate, etc. However, the formal unemployment rate has been dipping some in the past couple of years leading to the NB government spewing forth praise for its economic efforts.

Now, before I give you Jody Carr’s comments on the most recent labour force survey results, here are the facts (click here for the actual survey results):

All figures seasonally adjusted (as they should be).

The size of the labour force dropped 1.1% from May to June – the largest decline in the country.

The participation rate (% of adults in the labour force) dropped 0.8% from May to June – the largest decline in the country. NB has the third lowest participation rate in Canada.

The employment rate (% of adults working) dropped 0.4% from May to June – only two provinces faired worse. NB has the third lowest employment rate in Canada.

The unemployment rate dropped to 8% – still the third worst rate in the country.

And here is the quote from Minister Jody Carr:

“We’ve got more people working and more people in the labour force and that shows a clear, concrete example of how our strategy is working,” Training Minister Jody Carr said.


Remember, all of this is set against the backdrop of population decline and serious challenges to our traditional industries.

Just once, before I die, I would like to see a politican say something like this:

We continue to be concerned about our tepid employment growth, our low labour market participation rates and our population decline. Coupled with a dramatic increase for public services such as health care and education, we are very concerned that our ability to effectively fund future government services (even with Equalization) is going to be seriously challenged. We are committing today to a fundamentally different approach to economic development in order to revitalize our economy and set it on a firm foundation for the future. We will strive to be a global leader in the attraction of foreign investment. We will nurture and support fast growing entrepreneurs. We will help our communities – big and small – establish strong economies on which to build their future. We realize these kinds of investments will require a massive commitment both financially and organizationlly on the part of all three levels of government and our community partners. But we are committed to this and will pin our success as a government on moving this economy forward in a substantial way.

Will I ever see this in print?

Nah but I am starting to warm up to the numbing effects of great fiction.