"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hollowing out (II)

As noted in the first posting in this series, Newfoundland and Labrador Statistics Agency data show a steady decline in the number of business enterprises in most parts of the province over the past decade.

St. John's, and to a lesser degree, the smaller urban centres along the Trans-Canada Highway, have bucked the overall trend. Broken down regionally, St. John's shows growths and plateaux; the "Trans-Canada Corridor" (roughly Corner Brook through Clarenville) show decline with recent levelling-off or modest growth; and Labrador and rural Newfoundland show continued and steady decline. This graph shows the numerical change:

Numerical change in number of business enterprises, 1998-2006

Here is the same data, this time as an index chart where 1998 is the baseline, showing the percentage change in each four subsets of the province as compared to that baseline. By "indexing" the data in this manner, the relative change trends are brought into sharper relief.

Again, St. John's shows patterns of growth and plateaux. (Of late, another plateau has been reached.) The TCH corridor has pulled out of the steep dive. But in Labrador and rural Newfoundland, at least to 2006, there was no obvious sign of touching bottom. (Indeed, in Labrador, the trendline took a turn for the worse.)

Relative change in number of business enterprises since 1998



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