Attention News Editors

You know what I love to read? Those three words: Attention News Editors. Then comes the punchy headline: New Brunswick exports to grow steadily through 2008, says EDC. You know right away the EDC is hoping those ‘news editors’ are going to like that little snippet and write up stories on the press release.

Good news. Exports to grow steadily.

Read the sub-text, News Editors. Read between the lines. I know that’s hard with the fast paced realities of a daily newspaper.

So I’ll break it down for you. Oil and natural gas exports will be going up while forestry exports will be going down (see previous blog on the Dalhousie plant).

I’ll break that down even further. Oil and gas – have very little value add and very little employment attached to them. By my quick calculation, there is something like $5 million in exports for every person employed in the oil refining biz in New Brunswick. I could be off by a few hundred grand but you get the picture. Natural gas, I assume, is equally labour unintensive. By contrast, there is something like one person employed for every $200k of exports in the forestry biz (give or take).

So our friends over at EDC, if they wanted a real story, should have led with “Export picture in New Brunswick will lead to more closures and job cuts”.

But Al Hogan would ignore a title like that, wouldn’t he?