Tuesday, March 20, 2007

At least some people can add 

Sort of pressed for time tonight so I'll only be able to set the record straight on one bit of BS making the rounds recently.

I've read in several newspapers, on some opposition blogs (yeah, I know), and even in the comments section here - this government just gives handouts to people, not jobs; this is a "jobless" boom; more and more people work in the informal economy; and any jobs that are being created are government jobs.

BS, BS, and more BS.

I could probably go to the appropriate government web-site and add up all the numbers to debunk that non-sense. But seeing as I'm busy I'll take the easy way out and just rip off the numbers from someone else who did all the leg work - Merril Lynch.

From their analysis of the Venezuelan economy:

Note the employment numbers in Table One. They give the number from 2003 and 2006 and note how they've changed. Lets also note that as the first year, 2003 was a deep depression, any growth certainly would have happened between 2004 and 2006 so that these numbers on job growth are really for a three year period of time.

So just quickly; formal sector private employment has gone UP by 791,000 jobs, informal sector has gone DOWN by 254,000 jobs, and government jobs have increased by 466,000.

Lets take a second and digest this. This is more than 1.2 MILLION new formal sector jobs in three years or about 400,000 per year. That is a fantastic number by Venezuelan standards and far outstrips the number Venezuela needs to employ young people entering the labor force.

Lets also note this huge growth in jobs has allowed many people working in the informal sector to get formal jobs that are better as they pay official wages and have benefits. That is why the informal sector jobs have gone down while the formal sector has grown.

Net job growth (informal and formal) is still over a million jobs or about 333,000 per year.

Most importantly 791,000 PRIVATE FORMAL SECTOR jobs have been created, or about 250,000 per year. In other words, in spite of all the non-sense and outright lies the private sector job market is doing great. [BTW, for some real fun, read the narrative from Merril Lynch next to the table - they can add up the numbers but then can't make sense of them to save their lives!]

So just to recap:

Hundreds of thousands of formal private sector jobs have been created over the past few years.

Hundreds of thousands informal jobs have disappeared, almost certainly in response to the boom in the formal sector.

The Venezuelan job market is doing great. The opposition's credibility; that isn't doing so great. But the numbers don't lie. That must be why the opposition has been avoiding them like the plague for the past couple of years.


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