The Newfoundland and Labrador Employers' Council says the latest employment numbers from Statistics Canada don't reflect the whole province.

In June, Newfoundland and Labrador had the highest ratio of unemployed people compared to job openings. Statistics Canada reported there were more than 10 unemployed people for every job vacancy.

Richard Alexander, executive director of NLEC, said the numbers don't paint a clear picture of what's happening with the labour force.

"I often say there's three economies: there's northeast Avalon; there's the rest of the province; and then you have what's happening up in Labrador which is quite unique as well."

Alexander said some places in the province have a lower unemployment rate than Toronto and Montreal.

Unemployment by regions

In an email to CBC News, Statistics Canada confirmed the unemployment rate in June 2012 was indeed lower in the census metropolitan area of St. Johns (7.3%, 3 monthly moving average) compared to Montreal (8.8%) and Toronto (8.6%).  

However, the June 2012 unemployment rate in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador was 13.0%, the highest of all provinces.

Lahouaria Yssaad, a Statistics Canada analyst who studies the Canadian labour market said that, "at the same time, the unemployment-to-job vacancies ratio was 10.6%, also the highest of all provinces. The two indicators, though estimated from different surveys, do represent a coherent picture of the labour market in the province as a whole."

Yssaad also noted that within the province there are multiple labour markets and that "the labour market is complex and dynamic. No matter how we approach it, or how much data we use to do so, we cannot capture all of its complexities at once," she said. 

Here are the unemployment rates in Newfoundland and Labrador’s economic regions, 3-month-moving averages, June 2012:

  • Avalon Peninsula: 8.6%
  • South Coast – Burin Peninsula:  18.4%
  • West Coast – Northern Peninsula-Labrador: 16.6%
  • Notre Dame-Central Bonavista: 16.7%

"On average, despite a generally higher-than-average employment growth, the province still has the highest unemployment rate, the lowest employment rate, and the highest unemployment-to-job vacancy ratio," wrote Yssaad in the email.