The Malta Independent 21 April 2024, Sunday
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Opposition attempting to muddle official statistics for political mileage - minister

Malta Independent Wednesday, 17 September 2014, 13:21 Last update: about 11 years ago

The Minister for Finance, Prof. Edward Scicluna is disappointed to note the Opposition’s attempts to muddle official statistics for political mileage.

In a statement, the minister refers to the News Release on the Gainfully-Occupied Population for April 2014 published by the NSO on Thursday 11th August 2014.

On the first page under the Registered Full-Time Employment heading, the first sentence of the paragraph reads as follows:

“In the month under review, Public Administration and Defence, Compulsory Social Security and Administrative and Support Services Activities contributed mostly to the increase in employment.”

According to the reported data the two main contributors to the increase in employment were private sector Administrative and Support Services Activities with an increase of 736 employees followed by private sector Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities with an increase of 617 employees and third in place was private sector Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repair of Motor Vehicles and Motorcycles with an increase of 606 employees.

The news release also states that, “These increases were partly offset by drops in employment in the Construction sector.”

To the contrary reported data shows that during the year private sector construction (NACE 41-43) increased by 189 while there was a fall in public sector construction (NACE 41-43) of 182, resulting in a net increase of 7 employees.

The Public Administration and Defence, Compulsory Social Security (NACE 84) sector does not feature among the top three contributing sectors to employment generation, despite the Opposition’s attempts to suggest otherwise.

With regard to re-classification revisions, these are normally carried out for past years so that one can compare official figures in a like-with-like manner.

It is important to note that the slightly fewer than 3,000 public sector employees previously employed by the Ministry for Resources and Rural Affairs (MRRA) and which were re-classified to the Public Administration and Defence, Compulsory Social Security sector, were, and have remained, public sector employees.

In view of this, these do not constitute an increase in public sector employment, as is being tenaciously implied by the Opposition.

Lastly, the wholesale and retail sector is confirmed as the third-largest growing sector in the economy in terms of employment generation, with an increase of 606 employees. This further exposes the invalidity of the Opposition’s claims that the local retail sector is currently experiencing some sort of downturn.

Tonio Fenech statement

 
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