Thursday 17 August 2017

Known unknowns in great job creation success story

Brendan Keenan

Brendan Keenan

AMID the encircling gloom, the employment figures continue to shine. So much statistical fog has descended on GDP, wealth, and even government finances, that it is worth remembering that the jobs data is among the more reliable.

The scale of the quarterly national household survey - published last month for the first half of the year - makes the normal opinion poll look like a chat in a telephone booth; and we know how accurate they claim to be.

Admittedly, the survey asks more complex questions than who one intends to vote for, and its definition of employment (one hour a week) is narrow. I have always had particular regard for the one which asks people to describe their own employment status.

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