Employment Calculations are Tricky

Although the 0% with no cuts to core services has proven to be the campaign promise made by Mayor Fontana that has garnered the most press, his other promise to create 10,000 new jobs over 5 years should prove to be interesting, not just because the promise is longer than his term as Mayor.  This should prove to be interesting because it will defy easy calculation and could be spun all kinds of different way.

Let’s start by comparing the job figures from October 2010 and July 2012.  It is only 21 months into a 60 month promise, but should illustrate the point quite well.  In Oct 2010 there were 232,800 people employed in the London census metropolitan area, and in July 2012 there are 253,100.  So, London has ‘created’ over 20,000 new jobs.  However, the population has also increased from 395,100 to 416,100 (side note: most of this population growth has occurred outside of the borders of the City of London, but within the census area).  So, looking at the other side, we have gone from having 22,600 people unemployed, to 25,800.  Although we have a lot of new jobs, we have more new people than we have new jobs (ie. the unemployment rate has increased from 8.9 to 9.3%).

If we take these rates and extrapolate them forward to October 2014, the date of the next election, London and area will have ‘created’ 46,416 new jobs, yet will also have 7,296 more people unemployed.  So, the unemployment rate can get worse while we are actually adding employment to the community due to population growth.  You can then see why the 10,000 job promise is perfectly safe where critics might say, “Unemployment has actually gotten worse”, the Mayor will be able to point to far more than 10,000 newly employed persons in London.  I’ll leave the discussion of whether the Mayor created these jobs or not to the media in 2014.

EDIT: Someone who commented on this post, who is clearly better with employment stats and the StatsCan website pointed out that I inadvertently used adjusted numbers for one year, and unadjusted for the other.  From this combined table http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/pick-choisir;jsessionid=6587477913245801B7A656AFD8A6AA5E it appears that using better apples to apples comparisons we have added 9,200 jobs to date, but have 900 more unemployed, and unemployment rate has gone from 8.5% to 8.6%.

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2 Responses to Employment Calculations are Tricky

  1. Gary Will says:

    Making things even trickier, you used the seasonally adjusted numbers for October 2010 and the unadjusted numbers for July 2012. And then, if you take the current CANSIM table you used for July 2012 and go to the add/remove data tab and include the October 2010 report, you’ll see different numbers for that period than are in the PDF. Depending on which set of numbers you use, you’ll get very different results for the number of new jobs and the number of people unemployed.

  2. abeoudshoorn says:

    Thanks Gary, you are clearly much handier with StatsCan than I am, as I relied on Google to find the charts for the correct months, didn’t even know about seasonal adjustment. I figured it out now, and got http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/pick-choisir;jsessionid=6587477913245801B7A656AFD8A6AA5E. Inadvertently, as you mentioned, this further proves the premise that employment stats are decidedly difficult.

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