Monday, October 11, 2004

Newsflash: The Star Discovers TO's job problem

Today's Toronto Star has a well-balanced story on Toronto's job loss over recent years.

Where have all the jobs gone?

Although this is hardly news - as the national press picked this up a while ago - it's good to see The Star perhaps a stepping away from complete denial over this trend. The article certainly suggests that high taxes on commercial and industrial estate are a large factor in the job exodus. While this should be obvious to anyone in contact with planet earth, the LL (loonie-left) in this city are in denial mode - as a result either of self-delusion, or an imposed muzzling. For an example, see Councilor Brian Ashton's remarks as reported in a column by Sue-Ann Levy of The Toronto Sun:

Toronto could be a tough sell - Mayor leads trade mission to Europe

who reports:

When I pointed out to Ashton that the city's high property taxes are driving businesses to the GTA and council is doing nothing to contain costs, he said that's "absolute nonsense" ..

The only problem I have with the article is that it reports only the job loss since 2000. It's true that the job loss since 2000 has been about 38,000 - a drop from roughly 1.29 million in 2000 to 1.25 in 2003.

What no-one has reported is that the job-loss from 1989 to 2003 has been about 110,000- from roughly 1.36 million to the most rcent survey at 1.25 million. This is not all the bad news - however. The city also surveys the split between full-time and part-time jobs. The numbers reported in article are the total of part and full time - without weighting.

The City's own reports show a large increase in the proportion of part-time employees in this overall numbers:

Toronto Employment Survey 2003

Assuming (generously) a part-time job is 0.6 of a full time job, the real job loss is roughly 150,000 FTEs (full-time equivalents).

(I guess Councillor Ashton still has these reports in his in-basket - perhaps when he returns from the junket to Europe, he might get around to reading them.)

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