Creating employment (I)
This was Jerome! Kennedy in December:
"The message delivered by economists [which economists? - ed.] has been consistent: the plan Premier Williams and our government put in place five years ago is the right plan...So, which are the sectors of the economy in which Danny Williams-Government has been creating jobs? Which are the sectors which are retaining employment?
The plan is working and we must maintain the course. In the current economic environment, the measures recommended to stimulate the economy are the very things that our government has been doing far in advance of this economic downturn. This includes:creating employment;[...]
Our government wants to assure Newfoundlanders and Labradorians that while there will be an impact, overall the province is expected to retain employment and income growth as the global downturn runs its course.
First, let's consider natural resource industries. Here is the aggregate of employment (in persons) in the forestry, fishing, mining, and oil and gas industries. The blue line is the twelve-month rolling average of monthly data (which smooths out seasonal fluctuations); the faint line in the background shows the raw monthly figures.
From the start of this data set in 1987, the trend had been mostly and consistently downward until the start of 2003. Then, somehow, before a single Danny Williams-Government resource project got underway, indeed, before Danny Williams-Government got into power at all, there was an upward trend, from about 14,000 to about 16,000 late in 2004. Total employment in natural resource industries has fluttered above and below the 15,000 mark since, with a downward cycle beginning again in the spring of 2007.
However, the aggregate of all natural resource industries actually masks diverging trends in the several natural resource sub-sectors. (Annual data only is available for the sub-sectors shown in the following graphs.)
Fisheries employment has continued its downward trend, having lost nearly a quarter of its workforce between 2005 and 2008. Forestry and logging is barely 1/3 the industry it was, in employment terms, a little over a decade ago — and the most recent data on this chart is 2008, which doesn't yet reflect recent changes to the forestry landscape. (How many net jobs has Our Dear Expropriation created in the woods?)
In the aggregate, natural resources employment is at best treading water, with increases in mining (remember how bad a deal Voisey's Bay was?) and oil failing to offset the losses in fisheries and forestry: