I don’t know if I am supposed to be distributing this labour market bulletin but it is a public federal government publication. Someone is good enough to send it to me so I pass it on to you.
The year-over-year data for NB is about as grim as I have seen in a long time. Total employment is down 6,000 jobs, full time down 9,000 jobs – year over year. The unemployment rate is up to 9.8% – flirting with 10% for the first time in about a decade.
Public administration employment is up by 4,000 (Feb 2011 from Feb 2010) or the employment picture would have been worse. Health care employment is up by 3,000 year over year.
The male unemployment rate is now almost 14% compared to 7.5% for females. The female unemployment rate did not change year over year, the male unemployment rate is up two full percentage points. At double the female rate, this should be very worrying to government and community leaders. In recent years there has always been a gap in male/female unemployment but this spread is very serious.
I guess its a pretty good time to start listening to those that have some insight into these numbers. The construction employment will wane with the drop in public sector spending. The health care and public admin numbers will wane with the tightening of public spending and the spin off effects into the rest of the economy will be significant. The call centre industry will continue to slowly shed employment. All of this will put serious downward pressure on tax collection by government pushing a potential downward spiral.
I don’t claim to be an expert on this stuff but I have studied it enough to know that there doesn’t seem to be a silver bullet on the horizon. The Lord government used public spending and a few mega projects (oil refinery) to prop up economic growth. Graham rolled up huge public deficits to prop up economic growth in the last couple of years. Premier Alward has neither of these tools at his disposal.