labradore

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

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Federal presents (III)

"Truthfully," says the blogger, "Ottawa might be the best place to start the cutting rather than in a province that already has a lower than average share of federal presence."

Herewith, a rank chart of federal employment by province, expressed as the total fedgov full-time equivalent workforce, divided by the total employed labour force:
Truthfully, Newfoundland and Labrador has a higher than average share of "federal presence", behind only three provinces, and well above the national average.

Data sources: Statistics Canada Tables 183-0002 (federal employment), 282-0001 (labour force). Data represents the average for the twelve months ending March 2011.

*Population and employment data for the three territories, and data for federal employment outside Canada, are excluded from calculations.

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12 Comments:

At 7:36 AM, July 19, 2011 , Blogger Edward Hollett said...

So this would mean that a well-known report done by a memorial University economist is...what's the word?...wrong.

Wrong.

As in the opposite of correct.

As in not right.

As in junk.

Wonder if the Harris Centre will pull the junk report?

 
At 11:49 AM, July 19, 2011 , Blogger WJM said...

Mathematically, there is nothing wrong with the report put out by the Harris Centre for the Promulgation of Newfoundland Nationalist Mythology.

Their math is sound.

The problems are with their assumptions, the things they chose to look at (and the things they ignored), and the heavy torque placed, by themselves and others, on their conclusions.

 
At 12:24 PM, July 19, 2011 , Blogger Peter said...

The smaller the population, the more likely it is that the federal presence will be bigger proportionately. This is true in any similar situation, as in proportion of educators, medical staff etc. in smaller communities.
So, the real question is, why isn't Newfoundland up there with P.E.I. and N.B.? And why is it significantly lower than N.S.?
As well, geography and population distribution would play a major part in how federal services are delivered (and staffed).
Your blogger may be wrong in the simple per capita sense, but your graph still leaves a lot of questions dangling.

 
At 12:45 PM, July 19, 2011 , Blogger WJM said...

The smaller the population, the more likely it is that the federal presence will be bigger proportionately.

That's not really borne out by the data: NS is more populous than NB; BC is more populous than AB; MB is more populous than SK.

So, the real question is, why isn't Newfoundland up there with P.E.I. and N.B.?

Yes, the Homer Simpson vs. Ned Flanders mentality.

No, the real question is "What, if anything, is unfair about federal public service employment levels in NL? And how do you measure "fairness" for any given province?"

And why is it significantly lower than N.S.?

To some degree, the presence of Maritime- or Atlantic-wide offices in Halifax (or Amherst); to large degree, the navy yards.

As well, geography and population distribution would play a major part in how federal services are delivered (and staffed).

Indeed!

Your blogger may be wrong in the simple per capita sense

Huh?

but your graph still leaves a lot of questions dangling.

Too bad your ability to scent a good question was lacking when the Harris Centre released its dismal reports.

 
At 1:24 PM, July 19, 2011 , Blogger Peter said...

What's with the Simpson/Flanders reference? I'm curious to know why there's an Atlantic discrepancy. Simple as that.
The only reasonable, non-demeaning answer you gave is the shipyards. Thank you for that. As for the rest of it. eff you too!

 
At 1:27 PM, July 19, 2011 , Blogger WJM said...

What's with the Simpson/Flanders reference?

Homer looks over the fence, sees that Flanders has nicer stuff.

As for the rest of it. eff you too!

Have a nice day.

 
At 11:52 PM, July 19, 2011 , Blogger Mark said...

The smaller the population, the more likely it is that the federal presence will be bigger proportionately.

If your theory were true, places like Stephenville and Marystown and Baie Verte would more likely have a proportionately bigger federal presence than St. John's. They don't.

My guess is that location, cost, utility and language offer some answer to your question of why there's an Atlantic discrepancy. History, politics and labour pressures do, too.

I realize, however, that no such factors could possibly provide as rational an explanation as the simple fact that Ottawa hates us.

 
At 11:58 PM, July 19, 2011 , Blogger Mark said...

Here's a question:

If you were to add up all of the "federal presence" that successive provincial governments begged Ottawa to give up in exchange for "short term cash in lieu" and other bits of bauble, how do you think the graph would look?

(e.g. coastal ferries, the railroad, labour market agreements, etc.)

 
At 9:21 AM, July 20, 2011 , Blogger Peter said...

Mark:
Thanks for reining in the snark.
Your points are well taken. I'm not saying the proportionate population principle is true for every microcosm. I'm just saying that you can consolidate services more efficiently for a larger, more concentrated, more geographically accessible population in any given area.
Wall-E has demonstrated time and again that the "federal presence" gripers have the per capita numbers wrong. That doesn't rule out other considerations.
And for the record, I'm not in the least bit convinced the closure of the MRSCs is all that big a deal.

 
At 10:41 AM, July 20, 2011 , Blogger Mark said...

has demonstrated time and again that the "federal presence" gripers have the per capita numbers wrong.

Heaven forbid that the disproof of every premise to an argument be sufficient grounds to question the argument itself.

 
At 10:43 AM, July 20, 2011 , Blogger Mark said...

My bad. That was snark.

I think WJM's point was that of all the people in NL who might possibly complain about the presence of public servants, those whose soap boxes are located in St. John's are by any measure the least credible.

 
At 2:12 PM, July 23, 2011 , Blogger Edward Hollett said...

It may have been snarky, Mark, but the snark is warranted.

Anything you've said on your most ill-tempered day is considerably more civil than what is said about people who don't share the love of fairy tales, fantasies and fabrications.

 

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