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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Irish Austerity Exodus Lingers On

August brings us the annual Irish immigration data, so it's time to look at what has happened in their statistical reporting "year" that ended in April 2014. While better than last year, it's still not pretty.

According to the Central Statistics Office, net emigration continued in 2013-14, with net emigration of 21,400. a decline of just over 1/3 compared to net emigration of 33,100 in 2012-13. Of the new total, once again, the Irish themselves accounted for over 100% of the net departures, with 29,200 more Irish nationals leaving the country than returning.

This continued out-migration continues to diminish any published improvements in Irish employment numbers and unemployment rate. In the year to the second quarter of 2014 (the closest quarter to April 2014 immigration figures), employment  increased to 1,901,600, a rise of 31,600 over a year previous. Unemployment fell by even more, 46,200, in the year to Q2 2014. So, while there is definite improvement even accounting for emigration, Ireland is nowhere near back to its peak 2007 employment figure of about 2.15 million. So employment is still 11.6% below its peak.

In Iceland (create a custom table here), by contrast, despite (but also in part because of of) the almost 50% decline in the value of the kronor, the sharp dip in unemployment has been almost completely erased, with July 2014's value of 179,000 employed being a mere 1.7% below May 2008's maximum of 182,100. Indeed, Iceland's unemployment rate has fallen to a mere 4.4% in July 2014, compared with 6.2% in the United States -- and 11.5% in Ireland.

So the lesson, if I have haven't pounded it into your head enough already, is that Ireland's austerity measures are not paying off, as it has failed to regain its pre-crisis employment level  and has seen its unemployment rate fall only by reverting to its historical solution of exporting people, as in the 1980s.

Cross-posted at Angry Bear.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tesla Deal Even Worse Than First Thought

Via an email from Greg LeRoy of Good Jobs First, we learn that the Tesla deal, as enacted by the Nevada Legislature, is even worse than announced. Aside from the widely touted 6500 jobs only being 6000 jobs for which the state is paying for, it turns out that Tesla doesn't even have to create the jobs itself!

You read that right. Tesla gets to receive tax credits for investment and job creation not only for itself, but for any of its suppliers ("participants," in the law's language) that locate on the project's huge location. Theoretically, Telsa does not even have to create half the jobs for which it will receive subsidies.

Why does this matter? Isn't Tesla still responsible for bringing all those jobs (assuming they all come, which Richard Florida doubts) to Nevada? Yes, but it tells us that all the figures bandied about for indirect and induced jobs are just malarkey. The state claims that there will be a total of 22,000 jobs ultimately due to the project, but that depends on Tesla itself creating 6500 jobs. If the state is instead paying for some of the indirect jobs it claims would be due to the project, it is admitting that the Tesla base of direct jobs is smaller than 6000; therefore, 22,000 jobs would no longer be supported (assuming you buy into that methodology in the first place, which you shouldn't). These multipliers are easily manipulated, and we have just gotten an object lesson in how to do that.

Amazingly, the media is not paying much attention. As far as I can tell from searching the Web and the premium Nexis news service, the only place that has picked up LeRoy's statement is the Las Vegas Sun's blog. Really, this is no time for the media to be letting us down!

I encourage you to check the link to the legislation above. It is a sight to behold, and proof once again that bad economic deals are a dime a dozen, leaving the average taxpayer to pick up the slack.

Cross-posted at Angry Bear.