Tuesday , January 19 2021

Tangling the numbers: and now, who can measure employment?



The central bank warned that employment increased two or three times as reported by the National Institute of Statistics (INE). The issuing authority stated in its latest report that the growth rate of jobs is different from that reported by the state, mainly from data provided by importers' platforms and unemployment insurance. This, added to the workforce that immigrants represent, has led to tangles in the interpretation of how many people work in the country. Economists participating in the Monetary Policy Group (GPM) said in their last conference call that the discrepancy seemed something the government did not give the necessary meaning.

It looks like a child's story where "the wolf does not want the goat" and starts with a long list of animals that can not solve a problem. And how to measure phenomena that affect the world of work is becoming a snowball for the government that is yet to come and where no one seems to be responsible.

The central bank has warned that employment is growing two or three times, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INE). The issuing authority stated in its latest report that the growth rate of jobs is different from that reported by the state agency, mainly from data provided by importers' platforms and unemployment insurance. This, added to the workforce that immigrants represent, has led to tangles in the interpretation of how many people work in the country. Something is not convenient for the government.

The Center explained that this is not a critique of INE, but a call for its modernization. But the warnings did not stop there. The difference in criteria changes when the agency decides to raise the MPR, looks at other numbers, different and more stable than reported by the National Statistical Institute.

On November 7, part of the discrepancies were evident when the INE corrected the data of the monthly wage and labor cost survey. And economists reflect what at this point seems a rather unstable confusion.

Economists participating in the Monetary Policy Group (GPM) said in their last conference call that the reported difference seemed to be something the government did not give the necessary meaning. "That the series of payouts is adjusted in scale, corrected over a long historical period, seems to me to be extremely serious and not given meaning," said Thomas Excurdo, general manager of Gemines. GPM participate, in addition to Izquierdo, Verónica Mies (Institute of Economics, Catholic University of Chile), Carlos Bunevic (ESE Business School, University of Los Angeles), Guillermo Lor Fort (Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Chile) Pablo Medina (Business School of Adolfo Ibanez University).

According to the latest official data, unemployment in the country amounted to 7.1% in October. The figures are added to the estimates of the unions and the calculations that the agencies have made with the Central. "In a crisis related to the economic expectations of the government, it is urgent to have a figure and not to confuse public opinion," the guild said.

The "punishment" of the figure of Sebastian Pinera and his administration is precisely an issue that has been influenced by perceiving the efficiency of the economy. According to the latest SPS survey, 57% of people believe that economic performance is stagnant and according to the assessment of the criteria (commissioned by the Institute for Equality), 76% of respondents believe the government's promise of bonsai has not arrived.

Base of 2002

On August 31, 2016, several press releases reflect the comments of Labor Minister Ximana Rincon. The Secretary of State then commented that INE data and administrative data for measuring employment were "segregated".

When Minister Rinson pointed to the difference through the "Administrative Register for Job Creation and the Insurers' Register provided by INE, this observation was criticized," recalls Francisco Jazz, director of the Equality Institute.

The former Labor deputy explains Counter that the big dilemma is that the number of INE leaves aside some key aspects to look at, but not because it measures badly, but because the basis in which they work is obsolete. Something that GPM economists have agreed on. "on The census that INE has for its sample of employment has been with some adjustments since 2002, and this makes me think that eventually official employment statistics may be quite wrong"Said Tomás Izquierdo.

Díaz adds that the government is "irresponsible in everything INE has to do". The effects of the bad census are not only related to the fact that we do not know how much we are, but the problem is that Chile's map has changed. , seven years, and in terms of employment we use the census card more than 10 years ago. "

The problem is that these census models do not include, for example, the mass of foreigners living in Chile. Why is the government not in a hurry to adjust the statistics? You have to give time, says Diaz, because it is not a quick thing. "The correction of these maps with the 2017 census takes at least two years and the statistical noise will follow."

BCI has published a special report last week to analyze changes in the labor market. He pointed out that "in 2018 labor market developments were at the heart of the Chilean economic debate, and the central bank itself said it had evaluated information from alternative sources to INE so that it could have adequate reporting of its results The introduction of immigrants in the labor force, the stricter labor legislation, the emergence of digital sources of work and the automation efforts in manufacturing enterprises, among other factors, have led to new issues related to the conditions of the labor market in Bulgaria ., even o the discussion of an academic discussion on whether current work measurement tools are adequate in this scenario. "

The Bank's research department added that, in addition to methodologies, it is necessary to look for broad sources of information to better identify labor market developments.

The Estudios de Renta manager, Guillermo Araya, commented Counter some figures According to the latest INE data, the unemployment rate for the mobile quarter of August-October 2018 was 7.1%, 4-tenths higher than in the same quarter of 2017, and in the last six mobile quarters 7, 0%.

The same survey shows that the number of employees reached 8,380,810, compared to 8,297,150 employed in the same quarter of 2017, for 12 months, 83,660 jobs were created. A 1.0% increase in the number of employees.

"The amount of jobs created is what created questions in comparison to other sectoral employment data. the way of measurement has not changed, therefore, if the tool is good, regular or bad before it was, and therefore the measures are fully comparable. In Estudios Renta 4 we think the thermometer can not be blamed because it does not determine the temperature I want to mark if I've used the same instrument for years, "he said.

As the company added that by 2019 in the absence of catalysts as an aggressive policy on concessions (roads, ports, prisons, hospitals, etc.) Or some special impulse for investment in construction or infrastructure, it is difficult to create employment something that surprises us.

"Finally, with an economic growth of 3.5% in 2019, positive but lower than in 2018 and without catalysts, we estimate that unemployment, although it may be lower than that which was registered today, will range between 6.5% and 7.0%, with employment growth of about 1.0% (from 80,000 to 85,000 a year), "Araya explains.

Sleeping reform to INE

The debate on employment data has led to another issue: the INE's stalled reform. Although Michel Bachelet has urged the project, she has lost importance in this government, despite the political agreement she presented / demonstrated the initiative.

A former state body is more critical of its outlook. "We have to make money, surrender the power to qualified technicians and not become a political instrument," he said.

GPM recommends working on the project that remains in the second constitutional process and "we need to move forward to have better protection of statistics and quality because all public policy depends on good figures."

"One wants to be sure about the quality and reliability of these figures and therefore needs to be careful about how to improve the institutional structure of INE and its own budget," said Juan Pablo Medina.

The problem, Diaz warns, is not only a late agenda, where the issue of reforming ENI is yet another long list, but "on the basis of these statistics are made official decisions, government policies and this seems dangerous."


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