This is what a boom looks like
Again courtesy of our old friend CANSIM Table 282-0011, here is a chart comparing the rate of employment growth in the public and private sectors in Newfoundland and Labrador since the "conservative" spending spree began in 2006.
The figures represent the cumulative growth in public-sector employment, and the private-sector labour force (employment and self-employment), expressed as a percentage change from July 2006 — when the "Conservatives'" early experiment with restraint came to an end — up to May 2013. To smooth out seasonal variations, figures are calculated using twelve-month trailing averages.
Since bottoming out in July 2006, public-sector employment in Newfoundland and Labrador has grown by 25.8% Over the same period, the private-sector employed labour force — private employment and self-employment combined — has grown by just 3.4%, rising only modestly since the depths of the 2008-09 recession.
No other province has seen such a large increase in its public sector over that same period, though PEI is effectively tied at 25.7%. The only other province to see an increase remotely as large is BC, at 20%. The other two Atlantic provinces have had public-sector growth rates under 5%.
On the private-sector side, only Nova Scotia (2.7%) and PEI (2.1%) have had smaller growth rates, while New Brunswick, alone, among the provinces, and worryingly so, has seen its private-sector employment decrease by more than 1%.
Since July 2006, the net increase in public-sector employment in Newfoundland and Labrador was 14,300, compared to a net increase in private-sector employment and self-employment of 5,300. No, your eyes do not deceive you — the public sector accounts for almost three quarters of the increased employment during this time of "boom". Canada-wide, the public sector accounts for 36% of net employment gains since July 2006, with only PEI's public sector outstripping NL's, at 80% of net new jobs. (New Brunswick, as indicated above, has seen a decline in private-sector employment.)