13 April 2010

Labour Force and Employment, March 2007-March 2010

Just for the fun of it all, here’s a table showing the Newfoundland and Labrador labour force (top line and the employment, by month, from March 2007 to March 2010.

The numbers are from Statistics Canada’s The Daily.

labour force 07-10

There are a few things to notice:

1.   Employment in Newfoundland and Labrador peaked in May 2008 at 224,700. Then it dropped drastically and kept on falling until November 2009.  That’s when it seems to have started a rebound.

2.  May 2008 was two to three months before oil prices peaked and the recession started.

3. As one might have expected, all that provincial government capital spending last year kept construction workers employed but it sure as heck didn’t work any miracles in the job market. 

4. Even though there’s been a pretty steady climb in employment since later 2009, there doesn’t seem to be any particular reason for the climb, at least not in the private sector. The employment level also seems to have hit a plateau for a while.

5.  The only major private construction project due to ramp up in the near future is the Vale Inco project at Long Harbour.  The Hibernia South and White Rose work aren’t really jab-makers. Hebron is the next big one to hit and that won’t show up until 2012 at the earliest.

6.  Notice that the labour force in the province has been growing steadily since  the middle of 2007.  That matches the observation made by labradore about economic refugees who started returning home in advance of the recession.

7. Is the recession really over? Continued labour force grow suggests there is a problem elsewhere and that economic refugees continue to head back to Newfoundland and Labrador in the hopes things are easier at home.