A couple of years ago there was a massive snow storm in the Maritimes. It dumped 100 centimetres on Halifax (the most snow there in decades). In Fredericton, however; there was very little snow and the Daily Gleaner ran an interesting headline entitled something like “Major Winter Storm bypasses New Brunswick”.

Trouble is, Moncton got 70 centimetres in that storm.

And the Fredericton paper said that the storm bypassed New Brunswick – presumably because it bypassed Fredericton.

Or maybe 70 centimetres in Moncton constitutes a ‘bypass’.

Either way, I felt at the time that this was more or less a good metaphor for how Fredericton views Moncton generally.

I had the same feeling this morning about New Brunswick when the January 2007 labour market statistics were published by Statistics Canada. The agency hardly mentions New Brunswick. The Globe & Mail intones “Sizzling job market adds 88,900 new hires” and makes no mention of New Brunswick’s year over year decline.

I guess that New Brunswick’s employment and labour market declines don’t mean too much in the national scheme of things.

It will be interesting to see how this data is put out tomorrow in the local press (where, presumably it does matter). Al Hogan at the T&T will likely tease out some positive figures for Moncton. The government will probably say they are reasonably happy with the December to January changes in the employment figures.

The year over year stuff will most likely be barely mentioned.

But it will be mentioned here.

New Brunswick was the only province in Canada to register a decline in seasonally adjusted employment and labour force over the 12 month period (which is a far better measure than month to month).

The ten provinces combined added a massive 399,000 jobs. Impressive by any angle. And all New Brunswick could do was drop 2,000 jobs.

The other three Atl. provinces added over 14,000 jobs for cripes sake.

This is getting serious folks. Real serious.

We may have to forget about this talk of ‘self-sufficiency’ and start talking about just stopping the bleeding as a major goal.