Irish Economy 2013: The new official jobs data we report on today covering 2012 jobs in the Irish and foreign-owned internationally tradeable sectors, are in a format that has remained unchanged since the 1990s but the missing inconvenient facts are crucial to credible policy making in an economy where 200,000 net new jobs are needed.
While the existing stock of FDI (foreign direct investment) provides a stream of new investment, the data on inward investment is confusing and can include so-called 'trapped cash' that is technically outside the US.
However, what is not confusing is that FD! ceased as a jobs engine years ago while the performance of the indigenous exporting sector has remained poor.
The inconvenient facts for the Government are that many of the recent public subsidised hires in foreign-owned firms are from overseas because of the range of language skills required while the rise in services jobs are not mainly the 'quality jobs' that ministers wax eloquent about but are in administration and sales.
The public truth that few knowledge economy jobs are being created in the leading foreign firms would hole the already listing science strategy below the waterline.
It's a crucial issue for the Government as it would undermine its flagship enterprise strategy.
Companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook have regional centres in Dublin and it is assumed that the majority of their payrolls are from overseas.
When we asked IDA Ireland, the inward investment agency, if it had an estimate of the number of foreign hires in the new jobs announcements that its schedules for Richard Bruton, enterprise minister, it tartly responded: "We are not a statistics agency."
The main tech jobs in the FDI services sector in Ireland are in sales and customer support.
The claimed number of software jobs is simply exaggerated as the minority of jobs in software companies may relate to coding and development.
Less than 10% of Google Ireland's payroll is in engineering. More than two-thirds of the staff work on sales activities.
Both Microsoft and Facebook have not located strategic development centres in Ireland. Facebook chose London; Microsoft chose Israel, China and India.
From about 1,000 IDA Ireland client companies, less than 300 spend more than €100,000 annually on R&D (research and development).
The rise in services has not been a 'move up the value chain' as the mantra claims but it's likely the local linkages are much stronger in manufacturing.
Coupled with a poorly performing indigenous sector, the economy lacks a credible jobs strategy at a time when a huge number of new jobs are needed.
Following the publication of the CSO's Quarterly National Household Survey for Q1 2013 [pdf], Minister Richard Bruton's latest spin is that the private sector economy has added 2,000 jobs each month over the past year.
Last month, the IMF said the broad rate of unemployment was 24% and we reported yesterday on the current jobs situation:
In the household survey, full-time employment
fell by 3,700 in the year to March 2013; reweighting from the Census 2011 is
being done from Q4 2012 and there was an apparent jump in total numbers of
20,500 in the year to March 31 2013.
There are 76,000 in publicly-funded activation schemes.
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