Our ‘Bloated’ Civil Service

It is common to see in the local press, letters-to-the-editor, or comments on website, references to ‘bloat’ in the size of the civil service in New Brunswick. Civil service ‘bloat’ is often cited as a major cause of NB’s debt and deficit. In response to demand – both from the public (i.e. the voters) and from legal obligations – local and provincial governments have certainly taken on more responsibilities over the past few decades, various social programs and health care being just two examples.

Have we in New Brunswick gone overboard? Is our civil service larger than it should be? The data don’t indicate that, at least not in comparison to other provinces.

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New Brunswick Labour Data 2010-2012

New Brunswick residents are quite used to bad economic news. Typically, New Brunswick and the other Maritime Provinces trail the rest of the country in job creation and income growth. What to do about this situation will be the subject of future posts. This post is designed to illustrate trends in labour force and employment data over the past few years.

Small businesses, which typically provide goods and service to local populations, rely on either a growing labour force or growing incomes to fuel growth (or, at the very least, cover rising labour and supply costs). Unless they can find new markets or unmet needs, most such businesses will struggle in a stagnant economy.

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