Ad campaign's 3,000-jobs claim doesn't add up
Tally includes employment opportunities listed multiple times and stale ads for jobs already filled
A national New Brunswick advertising campaign that claims the province has "3,000 jobs Now" for people to apply for has exaggerated the opportunities, a CBC News review has found, but the minister in charge is not concerned.
"It's fairly accurate," Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault said of the claim of 3,000 currently available listings on the government's website nbjobs.ca.
"I'm not worried about that number not being accurate or too optimistic," he said. "It is there. They are with legitimate companies, and they're waiting for people to bring in their request for applications."
I'm not worried about that number not being accurate or too optimistic.- Donald Arseneault, training and labour minister
New Brunswick is spending $360,000 advertising in several provinces about what it calls the province's "soaring economy" and the availability of "3,000 jobs Now."
That number is drawn from listings on nbjobs.ca, which attempts to compile all available want ads in the province.
As of Monday at noon the website was listing "over 2,816 jobs in New Brunswick."
Duplicate ads listed
However, a review of those jobs shows a number of listings that are duplicates and others for competitions that are already closed. In some cases there are no actual jobs, with employers indicating they are only compiling lists of candidates for potential future positions that may or may not become available.
"You are not applying for a specific job, but for an inventory for future vacancies," read several different ads from the federal government on the nbjobs.ca site that are nevertheless counted in the "3,000 jobs Now" campaign.
Similarly, Cara Foods has 17 positions listed on nbjobs.ca with its various restaurant chains but is vague about how many openings there really are.
"This posting may be designed to generate a pool of candidates for potential future opportunities," say the ads.. "Immediate positions may or may not exist today."
Ads from outside site reposted
For example, Enterprise car rental listed a management trainee position in Saint John on Workopolis, jobpostings.ca, CareerBeacon and jobbank.gc.ca.
New Brunswick imported each ad onto nbjobs.ca and listed them as being four separate jobs available in Saint John.
Other double-counting problems appeared with the call centre company Sykes.
8 openings counted as 64
According to NBjobs.ca, Sykes has eight positions available in Campbellton for people to work from home answering the phone and providing customer service. But it also advertises the same eight positions in Bathurst, Dieppe, Edmundston, Moncton, Saint John, Fredericton and Miramichi.
The province counts that as 64 separate home-based jobs, although it appears to be eight jobs advertised over and over in different New Brunswick communities.
Sykes did not respond to a request for information about how many openings it actually has, but counting single job postings multiple times appears to be common practice on the nbjobs.ca site.
The company Best Version Media Canada Ltd, which is looking for people to sell advertisements on commission, is listed as having 68 jobs available in New Brunswick. But it too posts identical ads over and over in several communities at once.
Jobs posted multiple times
For example, the company posted a want ad for someone to sell advertisements at the Kingsclear First Nation on Jan. 4. It then reposted the ad on the Jan. 10, 11, 13, and Jan. 15. NBjobs.ca counts that as five separate jobs currently available in Kingsclear, although it is one job listed five times.
The company made similar multiple postings for similar jobs in Bathurst, Campbellton, Dalhousie, Dieppe, Edmundston, Oromocto and other communities, with nbjobs.ca counting it as a new job each time, further exaggerating opportunities in the province.
Added to that are dozens of stale want ads posted prior to Christmas that list jobs that have already been filled.
"Maybe there are some instances where there is some duplication," he said.
"There's many employers in the province of New Brunswick who do not register with nbjobs who have a lot of job opportunities that are available."