# 200000 to 220000 extra jobs since 1999

25 Apr 2006 http://www.vld.be/page?&orl=1&ssn=&lng=1&pge=484&nws=380Quite interesting. The prime minister claims that under his "reign", 200K to 220K more people are working.

According to the National Bank of Belgium (who apparently has numbers on this issue), these are the numbers (in thousands):

2005-IV | 4.188 |

2005-III | 4.258 |

2005-II | 4.189 |

2005-I | 4.177 |

1999-IV | 4.026 |

1999-III | 4.072 |

1999-II | 3.976 |

1999-I | 3.978 |

For completeness, I'll format this table in another way too:

I | II | III | IV | |
---|---|---|---|---|

2005 | 4.177 | 4.189 | 4.258 | 4.188 |

1999 | 3.978 | 3.976 | 4.072 | 4.026 |

difference | 199 | 213 | 186 | 162 |

And if you hate numbers, here's a chart:

[img_assist|fid=1017761|thumb=0|alt=6225_large.png]

Although I see the difference going over 200K only once, I'd say: good job Mr. Verhofstadt!

However, I then remember how much I distrust our government and how they like playing magic on numbers.

There's a difference between "the number of jobs" and "the number of people working". The former is the one that our primte minister wanted to change, but the report talks about the latter.

So I smell something stinking here...

The total number of people that are capable of doing work, is the sum of those who work and those without a job.

It's easy to get numbers on this, because the government knows the statute of every citizen, who works and who doesn't.

But how do you know how many jobs there are available ?

Suppose the number of jobs stayed constant. If the amount of people working increased, the number of free jobs would decrease.

So that's a situation where the prized numbers of our prime minister lose their shinyness...

Let's look at some other numbers.

These are the unemployement figures in absolute numbers of the last 10 years (Source: NBB)

2005 | 596.397 |

2004 | 576.612 |

2003 | 538.141 |

2002 | 491.481 |

2001 | 469.740 |

2000 | 474.427 |

1999 | 507.632 |

1998 | 541.047 |

1997 | 570.046 |

1996 | 588.251 |

1995 | 596.872 |

This is nice picture of the above numbers:

[img_assist|fid=1017764|thumb=0|alt=6226_large.png]

And if you believe I cheated by only looking at annual numbers, you may like this picture (monthly):

[img_assist|fid=1017767|thumb=0|alt=6227_large.png]

Since this current government took office, the only thing the unemployment numbers have done, is go up.

How can this be aligned with the 200K increase of working people ? 200K more people emplyed vs. 90K more unemployed.

Should I interpret this as: a third of the new (since 1999) workforce could not get a job ?