asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce the number of new jobs in manufacturing industry actually filled in the year ended 31st March, 1975, in comparison with the job loss in that sector in the same year.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Manufacturing Industry Jobs.
I have been informed by the Industrial Development Authority that, based on the best information available to them, they have estimated that about 16,000 new jobs in manufacturing industry were filled in the calendar year 1974, the latest period for which an estimate is available. The authority estimate that about 20,000 jobs were lost in the manufacturing sector in the same period.
Is the Minister aware that the last time the Minister for Industry and Commerce answered questions in this House, which is about three weeks ago, he informed the House that what he called job creation for the year ending 31st March, 1975, was 16,000, that job loss was 20,000 and that after several supplementaries had been asked on that occasion we finally discovered that job creation, in his terminology, was not actual jobs filled but was prospective jobs which, assuming all went well, would be filled some time in the future? A number of other Deputies and myself asked the Minister then what was the number of jobs actually filled in the year ended 31st March, 1975. He told us he did not have that information and to put down a question.
I am awaiting a question.
I am asking the Minister whether he is aware that this happened on the last occasion.
No, I am not.
We have now put a question down and we are given the same figure for jobs actually filled as we were given on the last occasion for what was called job creation. How does the Minister reconcile those two things? Is he not aware that the number of actual jobs filled must be considerably below the figure for job creation?
No, the actual number of jobs filled at the latest date for which figures are available up to the end of last year is 16,000. In fact that is a bit understated because there is some doubt about the statistics from which it was developed. Evidently the number of new jobs created, according to the IDA, is 16,700.
Filled. I am using the wrong word. The number of people put into jobs in manufacturing industry was 16,000.
Is the Minister aware that the actual Minister for Industry and Commerce informed the House on the last occasion that the number of jobs created was 16,000, that he did not know the number of jobs actually filled but agreed that it would be substantially below 16,000?
No, I am not. I think it must be coincidence that the two figures are the same. The figure I have here is for jobs filled in the calendar year 1974.
Is the Minister aware that when a new factory is being announced a figure of, say, 800 potential jobs by 1979, if all goes well, is frequently referred to but that the actual number of jobs at the opening of the factory is only a fraction of that amount?
That is right.
In those circumstances, how does he now say that job creation, which refers to the total prospective figure in the future, is the same as jobs filled which relates to today on the factory floor?
We cannot dwell all day on this question.
The Deputy's question was to ask the Minister for Industry and Commerce the number of new jobs in manufacturing industry actually filled, and the answer to that is that about 16,000 new jobs in manufacturing industry were filled in the calendar year 1974.
But the Minister for Industry and Commerce told us that 16,000 was the number of jobs created. Somebody must be wrong somewhere.
I was not here when he said that.
And he is not here when the Minister is saying this.