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

Friday, June 12, 2009

Push and pull

Another note on employment figures, complete with pretty graph:

This shows three measures of the economic situation in Newfoundland and Labrador: the labour force population in (people aged 15 and up); the labour force (people who are working or able to work); and the number of people employed. Data is since January 2000, and is shown as an index to the value for that month. Where the graph is higher than 100%, it means that the value is higher than it was in January 2000. The reverse is also true.

Since late summer 2007, the labour force population has edged upwards. At the same time, the labour force, which is a subset of the population, has been more or less stagnant in size. And employment was, for a while, increasing even as the labour force population held steady. The result, naturally, is a decreasing unemployment rate. (In fact, the unemployment rate can go down even if overall employment goes down, as long as the population declines even faster.)

Notice, however, the change in employment since about April of 2008, even as the labour force population has, slowly and slightly, increased.

There are some who love to play up the idea that recent net in-migration to the province from elsewhere in Canada is due to economic conditions. And that's true enough.

But they'd also like you to believe that those economic conditions that are driving the demographics, are good economic conditions within the province. Danny feels good about Himself, and when He feels good about Himself, people feel good about themselves. Or something like that.

Since no one is born fifteen years old, and fifteen is the lower cut-off for the labour force population, in-migration, reduced out-migration, or likelier a combination of both, must be responsible for the increase in labour force population size. The graph makes it easy enough to accept that hypothesis....

... But it also makes it harder to believe that the economic conditions are driving folks home from Alberta and Ontario to work.



At 4:18 PM, June 12, 2009 , Blogger Steve said...

atta bye, Humphrey.


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