Thursday, June 09, 2011

Why am I not surprised?

Last month, the Budget promised that 170,000 jobs would be created over the next four years. But it turns out that the Ministry of Economic Development has done absolutely no analysis on where those jobs will come from. When pressed about it, the Minister - a farmer - said they would come from farming and our "booming primary sector" (which employs all of 12,000 people, according to the latest Quarterly Employment Survey). As for food processing, manufacturing (which includes food and beverage manufacturing and processing, according to the ANSIC classifications) employs just under 200,000 people. Not all of them are going to be working with food, but even with a generous assumption that >80% of them are, the Minister still seems to be expecting this workforce to double in just four years.

The State Planning Committee of the Soviet Union would have been proud of such heroic assumptions. As for the rest of us, I think we'd prefer something more grounded in reality.