|Announcement on March 13, 2013 of ministerial-led International Travel Programme for 2013 by the tánaiste (deputy prime minister) and the minister for jobs, enterprise & innovation. Enterprise Ireland's programme has 18 ministerial-led trade missions 'as part of intensive programme of international activity.' Pictured are Kevin Sherry, manager, International Sales & Partnering, Richard Bruton and Eamon Gilmore, tánaiste and minister for foreign affairs and trade. |
This week and next, Brendan Howlin, minister for public expenditure and reform, is visiting Jakarta, Singapore and Manila, with an entourage of officials to promote job and investment. On that score the trip will likely be a complete waste of time but there is a reason why there is never a check on what is the return from all the actionless actions.
In 2004, 3 Irish ministers and 21 civil servants headed to Hong Kong to attend a trade meeting at which the EU trade commissioner was leading negotiations. About 17 representatives from Irish charities/NGOs also tagged along on the arduous trip. If each of the then 150 member countries of the World Trade Organisation had brought as many hanger-ons per population rate as the Irish, HK would have been swamped!
Irish Economy: The odds of an indigenous Irish
high tech firm becoming well-known in the United States are slim at the best of
times and on Sunday
the announcement by Intrade, the Irish online prediction market, that it was
suspending operations because of suspected financial irregularities, prompted
coverage in several US media outlets including The New York Times, The New
Yorker and The Washington Post. Richard Bruton, minister of jobs, enterprise and
innovation was in Washington DC,
overhyping his temporary involvement in the pre-planning of talks on a US-EU
free trade and investment deal that are expected to commence after the end
of the Irish presidency of the EU on June 30. Bruton appears to be running a
permanent publicity campaign with much time each week engaged in announcements
but what is the net result?
In 2012, according to the
household survey [pdf], when 1,200 jobs were added in the economy
-- the first annual rise since 2008 - - full-time employment fell by 12,800
(-0.9%) over the year and this decrease was offset by an increase in
part-time employment of 14,000.
Self-employment, counted as a job, rose by 12,000 last year, more than the total
number of jobs created and part-time underemployment increased marginally
over the year, up 200 or +0.2% to 145,800 - - so in addition to the
295,000 that were officially unemployed at December 31, 2012, there were 145,800
seeking longer hours and 34,000 had emigrated in the year to April 2012.
About 3,000 work permits were given for skilled
immigrants from outside the EU alone, to fill positions in foreign
multinationals in Ireland in 2012. IDA client companies
added a total of 6,570 new net jobs in 2012. So when jobs to citizens of the
other 26 EU countries are included, it could mean that all the net IDA-related
jobs went to foreign nationals.
We recently highlighted that coincident
with high youth unemployment,
the Irish apprenticeship system is a shambles.
Nevertheless, a new 333 set of job actions were recently announced by Bruton.
As tens of thousands face years of unemployment,
the almost exclusive concentration on high tech and American companies,
will help promote significant employment from overseas.
Today, Minister Bruton will "announce a series of
initiatives aimed at making Ireland the leading country in Europe for 'Big
Data', a sector growing at up to 40% per annum."
"Making Ireland the leading country in Europe for Big Data is a key commitment
in the Government's Action Plan for Jobs 2013," he said.
At 10am in eBay, he will announce the establishment of "an industry-led
technology centre in Data Analytics, focused on developing ways of generating
business ideas, profit and ultimately jobs from this fast-growing area. Led by
agencies of the Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation, and involving
significant State investment, the centre will bring together leading-edge Irish
and multinational companies - including eBay, Accenture and Dell - - with
researchers to turn good ideas into good jobs.
Later in the morning, Minister Bruton will announce the establishment of a
Masters in Data Business and a Diploma in Data Business, designed to help
business leaders in Ireland to take advantage of the major opportunities offered
by Big Data to enable enterprise growth and job-creation. This initiative is
being launched in cooperation with leading US multinational EMC as well as UCC,
IMI and SAS."
In April 2012, Bruton said Ireland could
become a world leader in cloud computing thanks to a new €1.2m research
A €1.2m investment was announced to create a
Cloud Computing Technology Research Centre, which would bring academic
researchers together aimed at generating business ideas and boosting growth in
Paul Rellis, Microsoft Ireland managing director
said "the cloud" could be worth €9.5bn to the economy by 2014.
Finfacts reported in July 2012:
Cloud Computing: Weak and uncompetitive indigenous Irish cloud
Last December, we wrote on the naive reliance on
university research to create a jobs engine:
Irish Economy: Innovation, a failed enterprise
policy and inconvenient facts for 2013
FT video on the Irish recovery
Actionless actions will not create jobs.
|Richard Bruton would
need to acquaint himself with data that most Irish workers are not
involved in exporting. Policies should not be geared to a small segment
of the workforce. The university research programme is subsidising
higher-income people while the apprenticeship system that should benefit
young people from low income families, is neglected. The wealthy minister may well not realise that the orientation of his policies is skewed towards the upper end of the economic pyramid.
research published in 2012 [pdf] showed that 78% of workers
are employed by Irish enterprises. Irish ﬁrms accounted for 15% of total
exports and Irish SMEs (small and medium size enterprises) accounted for
7% in 2008.
purpose of this paper is to clarify the importance of SMEs in the
economy. SMEs account for 72% of private sector employment outside of
construction and agriculture, with 63% working in indigenous SMEs.
We highlight the reliance of private sector employment in Ireland on
domestic demand: 64% of private sector workers are shown to work for
indigenous nonexporting ﬁrms, with 57% working for indigenous
non-exporting SMEs, ﬁgures that highlight the need for job creation
strategies to aim beyond an export-led recovery.
In terms of Gross Value Added and investment, indigenous non-exporters
are shown to be less important, accounting for 33 and 39%, respectively.
Irish SMEs are shown to account for just 7% of total export ﬂows, with
67% coming from large multinationals and 7% from large Irish exporters.
Jobs in multinational and large ﬁrms are shown to pay higher wages on
average than those in indigenous ﬁrms or SMEs. In terms of job creation,
SMEs are shown to be more dynamic than larger ﬁrms, in that they both
create and destroy jobs at a higher rate.
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