Friday, January 23, 2009

Public Sector: A Feast Amidst the Plague

According to the latest CSO figures (here):
Average weekly earnings in the Public Sector (excluding Health) rose by 2.9% in the year to September 2008. The index of average earnings …rose by 3.6% for the same period. Average weekly earnings rose by 1.7% in the year to June 2008 while the index of average earnings rose by 2.5% for the same period.

Oh, no, I am not making this up. Here is an illustration from CSO's release:Only a month-and-a-half after Mr Lenihan thundered first about saving €440mln in 2008 (he actually ended the year overspending €370mln rather than saving a penny) and €2bn in 2009 (we know where that promise is going) and a month before he launched his ‘patriotic’ tax increases in Budget 2009, according to CSO:
• Public sector wages were still climbing up, while
• Public sector employment… well, shall we let CSO speak on this:
A total of 258,200 people were employed in the Public Sector (ex Health) in September 2008 compared to 251,100 in September 2007 [a rise of 7,100]. In the year to September 2008 employment in the Education sector increased from 93,500 to 97,900, a rise of 4,400. Overall employment in the Public Sector was 369,100 in September 2008, an increase of 5,200 compared with September 2007. Employment in the Health Sector decreased from 112,800 in September 2007 to 110,800 in September 2008, a decrease of 2,000.

Chart illustrates…
All sub-sectors of public employment are up! While the rest of the economy is buckling under the weight of a severe recession.

Oh, dear, who can now take our Brian-Brian-Mary Trio seriously?

PS: to our previous post (here):
According to CSO release today, retail sales volumes fell by 1.2% m-o-m in November, with the annual rate of decline of 8.1% (exacerbating a 7.5% decline in October). The last time the annual rate fell to these levels was in February 1984. November core sales (ex-motor) volumes fell by 1.9% m-o-m, and by 7.8% y-o-y.
Car sales were down 11% y-o-y. Overall, core retail sales have now fallen - in y-o-y terms - at a rate not seen since April 1975. Consumers are clearly boycotting Brian-Brian-Mary policies and spending only on bare necessities at home, preferring to take their Euros to Northern Ireland, the UK, the Continent, the US or anywhere else where they are welcomed. In doing so, they indeed fulfill their real (ass opposed to Lenihaenesque) patriotic duty of serving their families' needs!

PPS: a fellow economist (hat tip to Brian) just asked (rhetorically) if these figures mean that we might register and unadjusted decline in December retail sails. My view - quite possibly. And January sales, and February sales, and so on, well into a -4.5-6% fall in retail sales for 2009! Laffer Curve is merciless - raise taxes, see revenue evaporate. Brian-Brian-Mary should have been sent to Economics 101 before they were allowed to run the country!

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