A CBC report on the construction boom in St. John's repeats this old saw:
The booming oil industry and mega-projects like the nickel processing plant in Long Habour are fuelling the growth.
“If you look back over the last ten years and look at what's going on now, it's astronomical,” said Hann.Over the past ten year, per Statscan CANSIM table 282-0111, the St. John's metropolitan area has seen an increase of just about 19,400 full- or part-time jobs.*
The three entirely or predominantly public-sector fields of public administration, health and social services, and education, have accounted for 6,800 of that increase.
Primary resource industries, including oil, but also including mining, fishing, and forestry? All of them combined have added about 2,300.
The "booming oil industry" is fuelling the growth in St. John's. But it's doing so through provincial spending, driven by the oil-revenue boom... not by its really modest direct employment impact. And a certain proportion of that oil-industry employment of people in the St. John's metro area, is of people who reside in the region, but whose oil jobs are in Alberta.
So what happens when the oil royalty party is over?
That too will be astronomical.
* Three-month moving average for June 2012 compared to that for June 2002.