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

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Someone get Doc Keefe a math

St. John’s Mayor Dennis O’Keefe, like any good Townie Tory Newfoundland Nationalist, has never let the facts get in the way of a good myth, and isn’t about to start doing so now.

He tells the CBC’s Ramona Dearing, in the top-of-Crosstalk banter:

There’s no doubt in my mind that over the years we have never, ever been treated fairly when it comes to federal employment in this province. I was told recently that on a per-capita basis we are number last when it comes to federal employment in Canada.

In 2011, the federal public service presence in Newfoundland and Labrador averaged 7442. (Averaged, because it fluctuates from month to month.) The total provincial population in the July estimate was 510,578. The per-capita federal civil service presence – you can repeat the basic arithmetic at home – works out to 1.5%.

Only Nova Scotia (2.6%), PEI (2.57%) and New Brunswick (2.2%) had higher per-capita federal employment. Newfoundland and Labrador is not only NOT “number last” in this regard, the province has a larger per-capita federal civil service presence than Ontario or Quebec or any other province that isn’t a capital-M Maritime one.

Moreover, the metropolitan St. John’s area, with about 38% of the provincial population, was home to over 5000 of those federal civil servants when Statscan measured civil service presence by metropolitan area in September 2011. That works out to 2/3 of the total federal employees in the province. (St. John’s also has at least 70% of the direct provincial government civil service work-force, in case any mayors who aren’t named Dennis O’Keefe are counting.)

Among its urban peers, the St. John’s metro area has a per-capita federal civil service presence of 2.6%, which places it fifth among the 33 Census Metropolitan Areas in the country. Only Ottawa-Gatineau (10.8%), Halifax (4.3%), Kingston (4.3%), and Victoria (2.9%) have a larger per-capita federal civil service presence than St. John’s.

Data sources: Statistics Canada CANSIM Tables 183-0002, 183-0003 (government employment); 051-0001 (provincial population), 051-0046 (population of Census Metropolitan Areas.)



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