The swarm of workers is coming – watch out

Everyone has Maclean’s disease these days – I guess that should make Andrew Coyne happy.  The Globe & Mail has a story this morning entitled “Job Seekers Swarming to Atlantic Canada” even as it reports there is still a net out-flow of people from the region to the rest of Canada – but the out-flow has lessened since 2006 so that equates to a swarm of in-migration.   Hmmm.

Other interesting points from the article include:

The articles talks about the region being ‘insulated’ and ‘cushioned’ from the effects of recession.  Translation?  We never were able to grow auto or aerospace manufacturing or a serious pharmaceutical industry or a major financial services cluster, etc. etc. etc. – and therefore, when they turn downward we are ‘cushioned’.  Funny use of that word.  I heard this morning about the early days of ‘credit’ cards in North America.  No one would have used something called a ‘debt’ card (which is exactly what it was) because back then the term ‘debt’ was far more negative that it is today so they engineered the term credit card and beat it into peoples’ heads.  Now we get a credit card which means we get credit!  Same thing when people are fast and loose with terms like cushioned.  You have people all over Atlantic Canada pumping out the chest saying “Look at us”.  I wonder if Ontario plans on expelling the 3.3 million people that moved to that province over the 10 years that New Brunswick actually saw a small decline?  “Look at us indeed”

The only time New Brunswick is mentioned in the entire article?  “New Brunswick and Newfoundland have shed roughly 3,000 jobs apiece in that time, Statistics Canada calculates.”  Nice.  They could have thrown in a bone – something about energy hub or something.

There is a good chart aligning the decline in out-migration (and even in-migration) with Canada wide recessions.  That is not particularly telling as it is intuitive that when things turn sour in Ontario, some ex Atlantic Canadians will want to move home.

For me this stuff reinforces more than ever the need for this region to create good quality, high paying jobs. It confirms that people will indeed move here (surprise surprise) when the economic conditions make sense.  They will move here to work in Lockheed Martin or RIM or Flagstone Reinsurance Holdings Ltd. with its $100,000+ salaries.  Geez, where do I sign up?  Think I could fake derivative and reinsurance product experience?  I can’t even balance my cheque book.

In the end this story is a good one for Atlantic Canada as it presents this region in a more positive light than 90% of the articles usually found in the G&M.  But it’s a bit of a bitter pill when the only reference to New Brunswick is about the 3,000 job losses.  Even Newfoundland got a favourable reference “And the most optimistic businesses in the country these days reside in Newfoundland and Labrador, a Canadian Federation of Independent Business poll showed this month.”

11 thoughts on “The swarm of workers is coming – watch out

  1. Why post something that makes no mathematical sense,and no supporting data?

    OTTAWA — International immigration fuelled an increase in Canada’s population in the last quarter of 2008, particularly in the western provinces, Statistics Canada said Thursday.

    The new figures show a population increase of 0.19 per cent, the fastest fourth-quarter growth rate since 1992, the agency said.

    “The increased pace in population growth can be explained by a marked increase in net international migration . . .” Statistics Canada said in a news release.

    The increase brings Canada’s population to an estimated 33,504,700, up 63,400 from Oct. 1, 2008.

    During the fourth quarter of 2008, the net international migration to Canada rose to 35,700, an increase of 7,700 compared with the same period in 2007.

    The figures show a population increase in every province and territory with the exceptions of Prince Edward Island and the Northwest Territories.

    All four provinces west of Ontario posted growth rates higher than the national level, with Alberta posting the biggest increase at 0.60 per cent.

    Statistics Canada says Alberta received 5,200 immigrants, a level not seen in a fourth quarter since 1981 and was also boosted by an increase in interprovincial migration.

    Ontario continues to be less attractive for new immigrants, the agency found. Ontario’s population growth was below the national average, at 0.08 per cent.

    All of the Atlantic provinces, except for Prince Edward Island, saw an increase in population growth.

    The largest demographic growth in the east was in New Brunswick at 0.07 per cent and was due to both interprovincial and international migration.

    The number of births continues to rise in Quebec. Statistics Canada says during the fourth quarter of 2008, the province saw a 3.9 per cent increase in births compared with the same period in the previous year. An increase in the number of births was also noted in some other provinces, particularly in the West, but not on the same scale as Quebec.

  2. Here are posting with facts
    January 1, 2009 • New Brunswick, Quebec, U.S. •
    Utilities Hydro-Québec negotiating with New England, vying for New Brunswick’s market

    Quebec is inching closer to supplying power to energy-hungry New England for the long haul in direct competition with New Brunswick.
    A recent move to seek U.S. regulatory approval for a new exclusive transmission line between Hydro-Québec’s Sherbrooke, Que., substation and southern New Hampshire by the utility’s potential future clients – Northeast Utilities Inc. and NSTAR Inc. – would more than double Quebec’s export capacity to New England.
    The proposed line is designed to transmit at least 1,200 megawatts of . . .

    Complete story »


    Consortium Drops Its Plan to Build New Power Lines

    Published: April 3, 2009
    A consortium of private investors that sought to build high-voltage electricity transmission lines to carry power from renewable sources upstate to New York City said on Friday that it was suspending its efforts.

    » The consortium, New York Regional Interconnect, cited a ruling made on Tuesday by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington upholding a review process that demands that each such project be subject to a cost-benefit analysis and receive the support of 80 percent of the beneficiaries.

    Regional Interconnect said it interpreted the decision as giving its main competitor, Con Edison, which purchases almost all of the electricity for New York City, the power to approve or block the project.

    The consortium called the review process anticompetitive and said it would not resume attempts to build the power lines unless the regulatory environment changed.

    “We were shocked because the rhetoric from Washington and Albany is all about improving our infrastructure to deliver energy coming from renewable sources to high-load areas,” said Chris Thompson, president of New York Regional Interconnect. “And this is what our project did.”

    Mary O’Driscoll, a spokeswoman for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said it had determined that the current regulatory process was “reasonable” and “not biased.”

    Con Edison had complained that Regional Interconnect’s plan was not cost-effective. “We have to buy electricity, and we didn’t think it was the best deal for our consumers,” said Chris Olert, a Con Ed spokesman.

    In New York State, as in many other regions of the country, prime locations for renewable energy sources like wind and hydropower are far from population centers. Regional Interconnect had promised to invest $2 billion in private money to build a new power grid, parallel to the existing grid, to bring additional electricity to the city.

    The project had drawn, at times, support from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg because demand in New York City is high and no significant new transmission projects linking the city to upstate had been undertaken in the last two decades.

    Many communities along the Upper Delaware River opposed the project, however, saying the 120-foot-tall steel towers that would be built to carry the transmission lines 190 miles from Utica to Orange County would be unsightly and hurt tourism. They were supported by state officials including George E. Pataki, who as governor in 2006 signed a law that would impede such building.

    In 2007, the United States Department of Energy essentially overruled the Legislature, declaring upstate New York to be part of a multistate area where the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission can authorize the building of new transmission lines over state objections.

    But resistance from Con Edison remained strong. In October the commission issued guidelines making approval of new transmission lines contingent, at least in part, on the support of 80 percent of the beneficiaries.

    Regional Interconnect appealed, but the commission ruled against the consortium.

  3. New Brunswick
    Population 620.0 jan 2009 to
    620.4 feb. 2009 400 people increase
    4.3 from feb. 2008 to feb 2009 2500 people increase
    0.1 % increase from feb 2009 to jan 2009
    0.7 % increase from feb 2008 to feb 2009

    Which is a big deal because you are right in that likely all are new unemployed across Canada returning because of home and longer draw period. If they not recalled, the trouble begins. Everyone better hope that Graham and Irving win the contract to supply U.S energy. The only hope we have is that Obama appears to not be tied up with Lobby groups and realizes a person needs only so much money to live good and then should share it, unlike our last 40 year crop of pathetic human offshore account numbers, with no face, while many families starve.

  4. Well skip that! NB population is not 620,000. so I’m confused by bureaucratic jumbleize, again.

  5. A lot of stuff here was hashed out before, but one correction needs to be made, and that’s that if you work in Alberta you can’t simply transfer those hours to the maritimes and collect based on those hours-it doesn’t work that way.

    Another point should be made that the unemployed who are collecting didn’t rise much more than in 2007. Immediately after that ‘height’ the numbers fell to one of their lowest levels. What should worry far more people is the TYPES of jobs that are being lost and gained. Workers have already been losing most of their ‘buying power’ since the eighties, and this adds to it.

    While our poster above is infatuated with the Irving proposal, it should be pointed out that the current refinery is already laying off people due to the drop in oil prices-but also because virtually every large company hires people it doesn’t need when the economy is good and they can afford it, then dumps them. I haven’t checked but I’m pretty sure the Irving paper doesn’t carry the news that the refinery is laying off people. So anyboyd that thinks energy is simply a ‘cash cow’ needs to look at that.

    Unemployment increases by Atlantic Province (Oct. 2008 – Feb. 2009) :

    New Brunswick – 3, 900 jobs lost
    Newfoundland and Labrador – 3,300 jobs lost
    Nova Scotia – 1,100 jobs lost
    Prince Edward Island – 1,100 jobs lost

    Population by Atlantic Province (2008 census) :

    New Brunswick – 747,300
    Newfoundland and Labrador – 507,900
    Nova Scotia – 938,300
    Prince Edward Island – 139, 800

    That hardly sounds like ‘good news’.

  6. Good news is not the past but the future. The good news is the U.S needs much more energy for the future, thats without talking about the now entering another cold era of the sun cycle. The good news is, from Maine is the complaint, that Eastern Canada would gain 33,000 jobs from their need for energy, and why couldn’t they have that! Well, we know that answer,so onward to the news that the New York District has 3 options, Ontario and Quebec, which has just been ruled out. The west central, which is too far and expensive, OR US! And the 33,000 jobs computed by the Americans and I believe it. Another thing I learned after moving to NB, is that layoff is beautiful, if you use your head, and I won’t get into the many enjoyments you can have, by having semi paid time for YOU!And family. If this prevents you LOSING that job then it is a winner. And the worst thing is having no job and that can be eliminated with this new deal. And my sudden support for Irving is because, if you want the job done, and done right, thats one thing they have.
    Mikel needs to learn that UI is federal. Among other things. And Transferable. Not only that but if you can come to NB from A layoff in Alberta, work here long enough to be recorded, you can claim travel expenses for moving to a job.
    Your stats mean as much as mine, nothing

  7. If you want to believe that because ‘Maine said it’ that its so, that’s your business. This is not the site for ‘beliefs’, that would be at the “catholic economic development’ site or the ‘let god do it’ economic development site. There is a brand new LNG terminal in St. John that can run with EIGHT people. That’s right, an entire terminal run by fewer people than work at most restaurants. 33,000 workers is just ridiculous, but ‘believe’ what you want. In fact, you might as well ‘believe’ that it will mean good jobs for EVERY NEw Brunswicker, in fact a preacher in Maine may have said that if all the energy developments go ahead then the second coming will be right behind! Hey, ‘believe’ what you want.

    Quebec already supplies New York with energy, so the idea that the above paste means that New York is ruling out all other options but New Brunswick is just plain silly. Hell, they can go to Texas if they want to, or the midwest.

    Layoffs are hardly ‘beautiful’, and this is the wrong blog to be at if the type of economic development being pushed is ‘work for awhile then collect EI’. THAT work already exists, and the whole point of this blog is to CHANGE that.

    The fact that you believe the sun is entering a ‘cold cycle’ shows just how WRONG you can be about virtually everything. So if thats your prediction base, you’ll excuse all us readers and posters if we don’t simply jump on your Irving bandwagon. You can if you like, but don’t expect many of those ‘thumbs up’ signs, you’re better off at Canadaeast for that.

  8. Wow, your spitting hatred has rendered your analytic ability to near zero. 18th century thinking is of no advantage to you. You and all your “posters and readers” still allow me to post here? I can see you only need to make one post and than copy and paste it for the next I look forward to “your changes”, in fact I have been for years. I am beginning to see why there hasn’t been any. Darn, 38 more weeks I have to go to work again!

  9. Oh well,I’ll make you look bad again ,I guess! Check out the “Maunder Minimum”. Which you have also never heard of.

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