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

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Creating employment (V)

This chart shows total employment in the private sector, stacked with total self-employment, for Newfoundland and Labrador from 2000 until May 2009. The data for each month is actually the trailing average of the previous twelve months, to smooth out seasonal effects. The graph is measured in thousands of persons.

Notice anything?

On the left-hand (earlier) side of the graph, there is a steady growth in the private-sector workforce, whether they be self-employed, or someone else's private-sector employees. Curiously — at least to the gullible classes and fly-in journalists who believe in something called the "Danny Williams Effect" — this run-up started almost three years before the man became Premier.

Even more curiously for True Believers, the growth curve began to level out within his first year in office, and hit a plateau in the summer of 2007.

That would be the Summer of Love, the pre-election summer, in which He went forth and preached His message of positivity, happiness, and other assorted trash: months into a stagnating private-sector labour market, and on the cusp of no minor meltdown.

Self-employment in particular has been wacked. As previously noted, the self-employed labour force declined by roughly 25% between 2006 and 2009, a phenomenon which is not easy to square with the imaginary boom. It's also clear that the disappeared self-employed couldn't have been absorbed into a booming private-sector employment force; the latter has also declined over the same period, though the decline started a little later, and has been less steep.

This graph shows the change, again in thousands of persons, in the monthly trailing average in the private sector workforce (self-employed plus private-sector employees). Again note that the good times of the 2000s, inconveniently for Williams Effect believers, began before He could have had any Effect to Williams. In fact, at no point in the Williams Era to date has the monthly change in this measure topped the recent-record high of just under 900 in the early summer of 2003:

Taking a longer view of history, the month-over-month change in the (annualized) size of the private-sector workforce, at least up to May 2009, was handily tracking to be on par with the losses seen in the recessions of the early 1980s and early 1990s:

Hands up, everyone who still thinks that the Williams Effect — or for that matter, the Great Pumpkin — has not only led to growth, but protected the province from the swirling recession.


[Data source for all charts: Statistics Canada Table 282-0011, Labour force survey estimates (LFS), employment by class of worker]

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At 5:05 PM, January 28, 2010 , Blogger Willi Makit said...

Are those the true "Private" sector figures - as in not paid with tax dollars?


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