Dashed hopes of growth? What hopes? September 20, 2012Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics.
Reading Dan O’Brien in the Irish Times is sometimes like looking into a parallel universe where the rules underlying of the economy are pulled apart but not put back together, or at least not in a likely configuration. He’s form on this too. From booster of the Celtic Tiger at its most fragile to cheerleader for the orthodoxy one has to be at the very least… hesitant… about his proscriptions.
And today we are treated to a further example of same.
Check this out…
NEW FIGURES show no slowdown in job losses. The number of people at work in the April-June period fell by nearly 14,000, the biggest three-month fall in a year, according to the Central Statistics Office. The figures appear to dash hopes that employment growth is at hand.
They show there were 1,783,400 people employed on a seasonally adjusted basis in the second quarter, meaning there are 357,000 fewer people at work since employment peaked in 2007.
Now why should this be a surprise? Alan McQuaid late of Bloxham summed it up perfectly over the past three years in relation to house price figures as they sank yet further down. I quote from last April:
But analysts warned against too much optimism over the figures. ”Although these latest banking figures are encouraging to some degree, particularly in relation to the deposits side, the underlying message from the data is still one of overall weakness and difficulties in the sector,” said Bloxham’s chief economist Alan McQuaid. ”The bottom line is that Ireland remains a long way from where it wants/needs to be as regards credit demand/availability to get the domestic economy moving again. The reality is that until the banking sector crisis is fully resolved and things improve on the labour market front then the supply/demand for credit will stay subdued in our view, severely hampering the overall recovery prospects for the economy as a whole in the process.”
Where is the stability coming from in a system that is designed by state economic policy (or lack of same) to be deflationary, to continually pull expenditures out of it – whether in the form of wages for public sector workers, curtailed or removed social expenditures, lack of capital investment and so on.
Mind you, enter the populist!
Responding to yesterday’s figures, Fianna Fáil’s employment spokesman Dara Calleary said the Government’s jobs strategy was not working. The same energy that was going into resolving banking and debt issues should be brought to bear on jobs and growth, he said.
Oh yeah, and how about this for a bit of magical thinking.
Mark Fielding of the Irish Small Medium Enterprises Association said: “Small businesses . . . will not create new jobs while they continue to suffer increasing state-enforced costs, lack of bank credit and competition from both the black economy and the social welfare system.”
This system has been built in no small part around the needs of business – the current narrative is only the most accentuated form of that. The crash was precipitated and exacerbated to an almost unbelievable degree by a private sector that ensured that regulation was whittled away. And yet that’s not enough..?