Deconstructing the employment numbers

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me but I couldn’t stop laughing when I put together this spreadsheet based on Statistics Canada’s annual labour force survey.

I looked at the period of the present government 2000 to 2005 (the six full years they have been in office 1999 and 2006 are partial years) and the previous six year period 1994 to 1999 – the post recession period.

Now, I did this for a reason. The Cool Camel gang are saying they are more effective than McKenna for job creation without mentioning the massive recession right in the middle of the MeKenna term.

So I looked at just those two, apples to apples time periods.

Overall job creation was over 50% better from 1994-1999 compared to 2000-2005. There were 26,900 more people working in 1999 than in 1994 compared to 19,300 more in 2005 compared to 2000.

But that’s not the fun part.

McKenna worked tirelessly to attract call centres to New Brunswick, right?

He, they say, made 30 calls a day and had a suite at the Royal York in Toronto with his name on it, right?

Premier Lord castigated the government for ‘call centre’ jobs in 1999 saying they were low wage jobs and saying he would have a ‘made in New Brunswick’ job creation program, right?

Wait for it.

Wait a little more.

Just a little more, folks.

From 1994 to 1999 there was an increase of 5,400 jobs in ‘clerical occupations’ (this doesn’t include secretaries or receptionists which have been declining) – this is the ‘call centre’ effect. 5,400 incrementally more people employed because of the call centre sector.

From 2000 to 2005 there was an increase of 8,700 jobs in ‘clerical occupations’ – the ‘call centre’ effect during Lord’s term.

Oh, the bitter bitter irony of it all. McKenna went out and got ’em…

….and Lord takes the credit. Though not directly. He has never, ever mentioned this in any speech or published comments.

The reality is simple. When you announce a call centre in 1995 or 1997 by the time you are at full compliment of employment it is 2003 or 2005.

So the Tories sweep in ‘announcing expansions’ and look like great job creationists.

As someone who worked in attracting firms to New Brunswick for almost 10 years, this was a juicy and lovely statistic.

McKenna does the work
Lord gets the credit

Not that McKenna is hurting these days.

But I digress.

Onward and upward.

During Lord – 4,100 new health-related jobs.
During the Liberal’s last six years in office – 2,500 new healht-related jobs.

During Lord – 2,800 new jobs in social science, government & religion (essentially government jobs).
During the Liberal’s last six years in office – a drop of 500 jobs in this category.

During Lord – 2,200 new jobs in education
During the Liberal’s last six years in office – 0 new jobs in education

During Lord – a drop of 1,700 persons employed as machine operators (manufacturing)
During the Liberal’s last six years in office – 3,500 increase in persons employed as machine operators

During Lord – a drop of 2,200 persons employed in the trades and transportation occupations
During the Liberal’s last six years in office – a 3,100 increase in persons employed as in the trades and transportation occupations

So to conclude:

Lord’s job creation record pales in comparison to McKenna/Frenette/Theriault.

Lord got the McKenna call centre job bounce – even though he didn’t like call centres.

Lord created thousands more health care, government and education jobs while McKenna/Frenette/Theriault created thousands more manufacturing and trades/transportation related jobs.

You gotta agree with me folks. Lord’s job creation record has been terrible. The vast majority of jobs are call centres of which they did almost none of the work to get them here and civil service and other government jobs.

Is this sustainable?

The call centre industry is most likely peaking and how many more government jobs can we create with a declining population?

The next six years are in serious jeopardy without a real plan to grow new sectors and make up for the thousands of jobs lost in manufacturing and related industries.