Ten-year NB employment growth by sector. You might be surprised….

It is interesting to look at the employment trend by sector in New Brunswick over the past decade as it does put things into perspective.  On a seasonally adjusted basis, in September 2004 New Brunswick had 352,600 people working.  In September 2014, there were an estimated 354,100 working – or a difference of +0.4 percent (rounded down in the table).  Nationally, the economy added 1.95 million jobs over the 10-year period.

The table below shows the sectors that added and those that lost employment over the period.  This is from the LFS so the aggregation is quite high but it does provide a high level snapshot of what has been going on.  NB’s agriculture sector is quite small relative to the country as a whole – still it has shed 46% of total employment over a decade – or about 3,200 workers. Manufacturing has dropped about 30% of its workforce.

I have been warning about transportation and distribution for years but I can’t seem to get any kind of good answer as to why this sector has shed nearly 5,000 jobs over the decade. The big jump in public administration employment is strange.  Maybe some kind of anomaly in the data as it is showing 3,500 more workers in Sept 2014 than just one year ago back in Sept 2013.  September 2009 was actually the high watermark for Septembers – there were an estimated 27,200 workers in public admin in that month – just slightly below the 27,000 in Sept. 2014.

Look at health care and education employment.  Those two sectors combined across Canada have accounted for 776,000 new jobs.  In New Brunswick, 4,300 net new jobs (0.55% of the national total).  Now, these sectors tend to track overall population growth (which is virtually zero in NB and robust across Canada) but it is a reminder that so much of the service sector (and construction) is reactive to overall population growth.

Other than public admin, NB saw employment growth in the utilities sector rise faster than the country as a whole as well as the info, culture and recreation sector.

Percentage change in employment (September 2004-September 2014)
Seasonally adjustedemp

Source: Statistics Canada CANSIM Table 282-0088.

1 thought on “Ten-year NB employment growth by sector. You might be surprised….

  1. re: the transportation sector. I found during my stint @ APTA (o6-09) that there was a huge consolidation ongoing ( still today) in trucking. Also, as loads out of Maritimes declined so did jobs. A growing % of imports to region by truck are being brought in by carriers based outside region. Given that we import everything now, the fact these loads are coming by non Maritime based carriers will impact jobs. The trucking industry is stuck in the 1950’s in terms of pay so it is not recruiting or retaining employees in that regard.
    Have noted that port & rail jobs are up in Saint John region but technology has eliminated real hands in jobs in both sectors. Also,growth in transportation jobs in Saint John region has not been enough to offset losses elsewhere.
    As well, Marine Atlantic ever increasing rates has caused distributors to ship less (or not at all ) to Nfld. The impact of this is that once distributors/suppliers opt out of Nfld they then view Maritimes market as too small and opt out of here as well.
    You’ve probably already noticed all this as well, just sharing some observations I noted as well.

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