September 2020 Newsletter | UNB

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JDI Roundtable on Manufacturing Competitiveness in New Brunswick

September Newsletter

This month’s emerging themes from the JDI Roundtable on Manufacturing Competitiveness in New Brunswick research team are all linked to a brighter future for our province. From innovation and R&D investment to labour supply and energy costs, these issues are critical to the conversation about growing New Brunswick’s capacity to remain competitive in the manufacturing industry. 

New research examines the state of innovation in New Brunswick

NB Innovation

“Innovation in New Brunswick" examines the linkages between innovation and productivity in New Brunswick. Prepared by the Centre for the Study of Living Standards (CSLS) for the JDI Roundtable, the report is the first in a series on innovation and productivity in our province. It examines seven indicators of innovation: R&D spending, R&D personnel, patents, firm-based innovation statistics, non-residential fixed investment, investment in intellectual property products, and business entry. It also compares innovation activity in the public, private, and postsecondary sectors. How does New Brunswick perform compared to the other provinces? Learn more

Increasing the potential of the N.B. forestry sector

NB Forestry Sector

Did you know the forestry sector adds $1.7 billion to the New Brunswick economy yearly? Did you know 1 in 14 jobs in the province are linked to forestry? JDI Roundtable Director Herb Emery and Gardner Pinfold/Forest NB have outlined key facts about the current state of the forestry sector in New Brunswick, presented in text and infographic form. Learn more.  

Should we care about rising power costs for large manufacturers

Rising Power Rates in NB

New research shows that investment by large manufacturers in Canada (defined as those who use electricity over 5000kw) are more sensitive to power rates for electricity than smaller commercial consumers, meaning there's a significant negative correlation between electricity price and GDP, labor productivity, and investment in manufacturing. In the 20th century, provincial governments understood that access to affordable, reliable energy supply is essential for attracting and retaining large industry. More recently, growth in New Brunswick’s manufacturing exports has stalled as some firms leave and others struggle to remain competitive. Could improving electricity rates for large manufacturers turn things around? Read more. 

New Brunswick risks losing major employers if it can’t address labour supply issues

Labour Supply Issues in NB

At what point will the challenges of doing business in New Brunswick force out major employers? Manufacturing and processing firms have been sounding the alarm over the difficulty of filling jobs locally. For example, Cooke Aquaculture recently launched a campaign announcing its pressing need to fill over 100 jobs in Atlantic Canada. Labour supply issues stemming from demographic decline and other factors have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The risk of inaction is that failure to find labour here will result in employers migrating to states and provinces where workers are available, taking jobs and GDP with them. What actions should government take to address labour shortages and ensure New Brunswick remains a competitive environment for manufacturers to do business? Learn more

More JDI Roundtable news.

The JDI Roundtable on Manufacturing Competitiveness in New Brunswick is an independent research program made possible through the generosity of J.D. Irving, Ltd. The funding supports arms-length research conducted at UNB.