Tuesday, 15 February 2011

'Job Pact', not 'Competitiveness Pact'

Tom McDonnell: Useful post (here) from Andrew Watt. He looks at the latest uninspiring growth figures in Europe (0.3% quarter-on-quarter in the euro area and just 0.2% in the wider EU27). We cannot assume such anaemic growth will be improved upon as austerity bites down in 2011. Weak employment growth will be the upshot.

One interesting point relates to the newly fashionable idea that increased ‘competitiveness’ is the solution to the jobs crisis. Andrew notes that the Euro area has actually maintained a balanced trade account virtually throughout its existence and achieved a trade surplus in 2010. If the Euro area had a severe competitiveness problem it would surely be reflected in the trade statistics.

Ireland of course has the second highest (http://www.finfacts.ie/irishfinancenews/article_1021642.shtml) trade surplus in the whole of the EU. Ireland has many problems but competitiveness does not appear to be at the top of the list. Worth bearing in mind as the attacks on the minimum wage and other wage floors continue...

1 comment:

Martin O'Dea said...

When clearly not founded on facts purported, we must assume that this is emanating from an ideology. An ideology in kindred spirit with lower welfare, supporting business above workers, small government, and citizen without influences in economic constructs. An ideology closer to the heart of Fine Gael than Fianna Fail; until now I held out some hope! There is wisdom in old age. I spoke to two old men in recent months. One stated that the election would take place at the end of March when Greens had called for January and everyone else was looking to Jan or Feb. Why? I asked him. The days will be long enough, he replied. Another told me with the same hard earned insight that nothing would change in Ireland's politics and in Ireland itself. Unfortunately, they are both being proven very right