Wednesday , January 20 2021

The entanglement of numbers: And now, who can measure employment?

The central bank warned that employment increased two or three times as reported by the National Institute of Statistics (INE). The issuing body said in its latest report that the rate of increase in jobs differs from that reported by the government entity, mainly by the data provided by donor platforms and unemployment insurance, in addition to the labor force that immigrants represent, entangled in the interpretation of how many people work in the country. The monetary policy group (GPM) said in their last conversation that the inconsistency seems to be the government does not give all the necessary importance.

It looks like a children's story where "the wolf does not want to get the goat" and starts with a long list of animals that can not solve a problem. And this is how measuring the effects that affect the working world, becomes a snowball for the government, which seems to still come to a place where no one seems responsible.

The central bank warned that employment is growing two or three times, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INE). The body of the issuer said in a recent report that the rate of growth of jobs is different from that reported by the state agency, mainly by the data provided by donors unemployment insurance platforms.This, in addition to the labor force that immigrants represents, has entangled in the interpretation of how many people work in the country Something uncomfortable for the government.

The center explained that this is not criticism of the INE, but a call for modernization. But the warnings were not stopped there. The difference in criteria returned When the agency decided to raise the rate of monetary policy (MPR), looked at other numbers, different and stronger than reported by the National Institute of Statistics.

On November 7, some of the inconsistencies were evident when INE revised the monthly compensation survey data and the cost of labor. And the economists are echoing what seems at this point rather confused.

Economists participating in the Monetary Policy Group (GPM) said in their last conversation that the reported difference appears to be something the government does not give all the necessary importance. "That series of rewards has been corrected in an amended order in a long historical period, and it seems to me very serious and has not been given its relevance," said Tomas Izquierdo, CEO of Gemines.In GPM participate, in addition to Izquierdo, Veronica Miss (Institute of Economics, Catholic University of Chile ), Carlos Budnevich (ESE Business School, University of Los Andes), Guillermo Le Fort (Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Chile) and Juan Pablo Medina (School of Business Administration of the University of Adolfo Ibanez).

According to recent official figures, unemployment in the country stood at 7.1% in October. The data are added to the assessments of the unions and calculations that the agencies have done with the center. "In a crisis about the economic expectations of the government, it is urgent to get one figure and not confuse public opinion," they comment from Gilda.

The "punishment" of the character of Sebastien Pienera and his administration is precisely a problem that was influenced by the perception of the performance of the economy. According to the latest CEP survey, 57% of people believe that economic performance is on the verge of stagnation, and according to the measurement of criteria (commissioned by the Institute of Equality), 76% of respondents believe that the government's assurance of bonanza is not reached.

The Basis of 2002

On August 31, 2016, some press releases echoed comments from the Minister of Labor, Ximena Rincón. Then Secretary of State noted that the data of the INE and the administrative data of the measurement of employment were "decoupled".

When Minister Rincón pointed out the difference by "the administrative record of creating places and the sample registry that the INE was delivered, this observation was criticized," recalls Director of the Institute for Equality Studies, Francisco Díaz.

Secretary of the former Labor Office explains The counter Because the big dilemma is that the INE count leaves aside some key aspects to consider, but not because it measures poorly, but because the sampling base in which they work is outdated. Something that the GPM economists agreed with. "God The census that the INE is occupying for its employment sample is from 2002 with some corrections and it makes me think that in the end the official employment statistics could be wrong"Said Thomas Izquierdo.

Díaz adds that the government "was irresponsible in what INE do." The effects of a poorly made census are not only related not to know how much we are, the problem is that the map of Chile is changing. , Seven years, in terms of employment we use the census map more than 10 years. "

The problem is that these census samples do not combine, for example, the masses of foreigners living in Chile. Why does the government not rush the adjustment of statistics? You have to give it time, says Diaz, because it's not a quick thing to do. "Fixing these maps with the 2017 census takes at least two years because statistical noise will follow."

BCI published a special report last week to analyze changes in the labor market. He noted that "during the course of 2018, the development of the labor market is at the center of the economic debate in Chile, and the Central Bank itself testified that it assessed information from alternative sources to INE in order to receive a proper reading of its performance. More rigid work, the emergence of digital sources of work and the efforts of factories in productive organizations, among other things, have led to new questions regarding the conditions of the labor market in our country, and even opens an academic discussion on whether the current measurement tools of the work are appropriate in this scenario. "

The Department of Studies at the Bank added that beyond the methodologies, extensive sources of information must be sought in order to establish the development of the labor market.

Director of Estudios de Renta 4, Guillermo Araya, the city The counter Some Figures According to the latest INE survey data, the unemployment rate in the August-October 2018 mobile quarter was 7.1%, higher by 4 tenths compared to the same quarter last year and during the last six quarters 7.0%

In the same survey, the number of employed persons reached 8,380,810, compared with 8,297,150 in the corresponding period last year. In other words, in the last 12 months, 83,660 jobs were created. An increase of 1.0% in the number of employed persons.

"The generated amount of jobs is what generated questions compared to other employment data. The way of measurement has not changed, therefore, if now the device is good, fixed or bad, before it was well, therefore, the steps are completely similar. At Estudios Renta4, we estimate that a thermometer can not be blamed because it does not set the temperature I want it to be a sign if I have been engaged in the same device for years, "he said.

Since the company added that by 2019, in the absence of catalysts such as aggressive policies on concessions (roads, ports, hospitals, hospitals, etc.) or any special impulse to invest in construction or infrastructure, it is difficult to create employment.

In the end, with economic growth of 3.5% in 2019, a positive figure but lower than that of 2018, and without catalysts, we estimate that the unemployment rate, though it may be lower than what was registered today, will range from 6.5% 7.0%, with an employment increase of about 1.0% (80,000 to 85,000 per year), "explained Aryeh.

The dormant reform in INE

The debate over the employment data raised another issue: the dormant reform of the INE. Although Michel Bachelet put urgency in the project, in this government she lost relevance, despite the political agreement he presented / presented the initiative.

Previous government authority is more critical with its appearance. "We have to put the money on it, transfer the power to qualified technicians and not be a political instrument," he said.

The GPM recommended working on the project that remains in the second constitutional process, "We must move forward on this, so we will have better maintain statistics, and quality, because all public policy depends on good figures."

"One wants to be sure about the quality and reliability of these data, therefore, it is necessary to keep an eye on how to improve the institutional structure of the INE and its budget," said Juan Pablo Medina.

The problem, warns Diaz, is not only a delayed agenda in which the issue of reform INE is another long list, but "on the basis of these data, formal decisions are made, government policies are made, and it seems dangerous."

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