A wacky year for the labour market

It was a bit of a wacky labour market picture for NB over the year.  The year end data is out (a good report here) and it’s not what I would have predicted.

There was virtually no growth in total employment across the province during the year but goods producing industries lost 7,000 jobs (December 10 to Dec. 2011) while service industries gained 8,000.

Accommodation and food service added 4,000 jobs.  That’s strange to me. Information, culture and recreation employment made a come back too with 3,000 new jobs.  Even public administration added jobs (1,000) – 2,900 from November to December 2011.  That is the calm before the storm I suspect.

The 7,000 drop in goods producing industries is hitting young males the worst.  Those in the labour market between the ages of 15-24 now face a 23.4 percent unemployment rate (compared to 11 percent among females in that age group).  Across the board women are ruling the labour market.  The unemployment rate among females 25 years and older is only 5.5 percent compared to 9.1 percent for males.

Weirdness on a regional basis too.  The northeast part of the province added 1,300 jobs Dec 10 to Dec 11 – while Saint John and the Greater Fredericton region (central NB) shed quite a few jobs (central NB dropped 4k jobs and SJ dropped 2,100 jobs). Greater Moncton added 3,400 jobs after a couple of years of weaker job growth.

It all adds up to a moribund employment picture.  Education, health care and public administration added 4,000 jobs over the year (combined).  I suspect that will retrench a bit as governments look to fight deficits.