Darn dif­fi­cult to ob­tain cor­rect data

Finweek English Edition - - Letters -

WITH REF­ER­ENCE TO your cover story head­lined “Darn dif­fi­cult” by Marc Hasen­fuss (5 Fe­bru­ary). We’d like to draw your at­ten­tion to the fact the em­ploy­ment data for cloth­ing (ta­ble on page 12) isn’t a cor­rect re­flec­tion of em­ploy­ment in South Africa’s cloth­ing sec­tor. The em­ploy­ment data for cloth­ing pub­lished by Statis­tics SA is no­to­ri­ously prob­lem­atic. The most re­li­able data avail­able is that avail­able from the Na­tional Bar­gain­ing Coun­cil. We pro­vide a ta­ble, which shows a more cor­rect state of em­ploy­ment in the sec­tor.

We cau­tion this data may also un­der­state em­ploy­ment in the sec­tor, since it fails to cap­ture the shift in pro­duc­tion from the for­mal to the in­for­mal CMT in­dus­try, which we be­lieve to have been sig­nif­i­cant – par­tic­u­larly over the past 24 months.

We’re con­cerned that in­cor­rect data is be­ing put into the pub­lic do­main and will be quoted by oth­ers.

MIKE MOR­RIS Pro­fes­sor, School of Eco­nomics, Uni­ver­sity of

Cape Town

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