Labour market data looks good – for now

Statistics Canada is out with their jobs report for the past month and it looks good for New Brunswick. I applaud that and we can thank the construction industry, public service hiring, call centres and professional services for the growth. Here’s the quote:

Employment in New Brunswick rose by 5,000 in November. So far in 2007, employment has increased 4.2%, the fastest pace of growth among all provinces, with gains mostly in full time. This province also experienced a large increase in its employment rate, up 2.0 percentage points since the start of the year, reaching a record high of 60.0% in November.

Knowing what we know about the New Brunswick media and its desperate attempt to make things out to be more than they are (read: Al Hogan), let me give you some clarity on the numbers.

The following chart shows the one year, two year and three year growth in employment in New Brunswick. These are the seasonally adjusted numbers for November 2007, compared to November 2006 compared to November 2005 and compared to November 2004. I want to be really clear about my methodology because you know our guys love to tweak numbers to fit their position (read: Sam LeBreton).

The first column shows the numeric growth in jobs (both full and part time) – year over year. The second shows what that means in terms of percentage growth. The third column compares November 2007 to November 2005 and the fourth compares November 2007 to November 2004.

No, this is not a typo. I check and rechecked the numbers. Essentially, from November to November we have had a 5% growth in total employment – over three years. If you back out the 5,500 new public sector jobs (public admin, health care and education), you have a growth rate of just over 3% – over three years.

So, for the media types in the room. You can rah rah the one year numbers and quote the chest thumping politicians but you would be advised to inform the public that over a three year view, job creation has been tepid – among the worst in Canada.

Three Year Employment Growth

Adapted from: Statistics Canada Table 282-0088 – Labour force survey
estimates (LFS), employment by North American Industry Classification
System (NAICS), seasonally adjusted and unadjusted, monthly.