Pace of job loss in Prince Rupert lowest in Western Canada

When Stats Canada updated the numbers on employment insurance beneficiaries on May 26, the result was significantly increasing EI claims in communities across the western Canada.Everywhere, that is, except for Prince Rupert.

Prince Rupert was the only census metropolitan area west of Quebec that saw an increase of less than 10 per cent from March 2008 to March of 2009. … 47212.html

Ahh - the things you can do with statistics…

Prince Rupert hasn’t lost as many jobs in the same time - because the jobs were not there to lose in the first place.

Prince Rupert has less people on EI in the same time - **because they don’t qualify **(see point above).

Take a look at the stats on people on Social Assistance - after all, that is where people are forced to go when they are denied EI.

Look at the number of early CPP applications (since SA insists that you explore all income options - including applying for early CPP…to your long term detriment). Look at food bank numbers. Look at the number of houses and cars for sale.

In a way - Prince Rupert should be grateful. “When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.”

Yeah it’s always amazing how the official Unemployment rate here never truly reflects the actual unemployment situation.

There are so many that have run out of benefit time, thus no longer exist… shazam your gone of that Unemployment statstic batch…

Some qualify for Social assistance and aren’t counted on the unemployment rolls anymore and then there are those that don’t even qualify for social assistance and depend on family and such to get by… they don’t get counted either

Not to mention those that just up and leave town having given up here…

But hey it looks nice in a good News format kind of way don’t you think? 

It’s too bad that the View or any of the other local media rarely look beyond the press release and raise the points you two have.

Problem with the PRDN or View raising these points is that we are ‘editorializing’ - not reporting.

I don’t know if you can even get the stats on who has unsuccessfully applied for EI - or Social Assistance for that matter. And how does one define “underemployed”?

I wonder if journalists’ training includes basic statistics. I know that, until I took a stats course, seeing numbers supporting an argument was very convincing.

My stats teacher pointed out that “9 out of 10 doctors agree” may be true - but maybe they interviewed 100 or 1000 doctors.

Stats don’t lie - they just may avoid telling the whole truth.

To be fair to The View, Nathan Cullen makes the point that Rupert is not doing all that well.
The problem with these kinds of stories is that percentages are used without context.  If a town went from one person on EI to two people then the increase would be 100%.  Another town with 100 people on EI goes to 110, the increase would only be 10%.
The first town is doing better on all accounts despite the “huge” increase.

But they can talk to other people who raise these points, union leaders, social service agency workers, etc., and have them comment on it and explain how the number is misleading. It’s called digging further into a story.