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  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/ on line 745.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/ on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/ on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_node_status::operator_form() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::operator_form(&$form, &$form_state) in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/modules/node/ on line 14.
  • strict warning: Declaration of date_api_filter_handler::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/date/includes/ on line 578.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Declaration of uc_product_handler_field_price::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/ubercart/uc_product/views/ on line 94.
  • strict warning: Declaration of uc_product_handler_field_weight::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/ubercart/uc_product/views/ on line 61.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_user::init() should be compatible with views_handler_field::init(&$view, $options) in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/modules/user/ on line 48.
  • strict warning: Declaration of semanticviews_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/semanticviews/ on line 232.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/ on line 135.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/ on line 135.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/includes/ on line 653.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/ on line 25.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.


(November 2011) It's understandable why Irish university presidents would aspire to have the prestige of running what are termed 'world class' universities. These well-off individuals with the prospect of high pensions, have no skin in the game but when South Korea, a true world class knowledge economy, says it's producing too many graduates, should we just follow the conventional wisdom?... Data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) shows that of the 25-34 year old populations having a tertiary education in member countries in 2007, the ratio was 56% for Korea and Canada, 42% for the US, 44% in Ireland, 23% in Germany and 19% in Austria. The unemployment rate in the 17 member country Eurozone was lowest in Austria in September 2011 at 3.9%.
(October 2011) Ireland is one of the best performers in Europe with labour productivity per person in manufacturing , trumping the other 26 countries of the EU27. However, it's a data piece that is more likely to feed the delusions of Irish policymakers rather than prompt queries as to why we had the highest labour productivity per person employed in manufacturing in Europe in 2010 but we are adding no jobs in the sector? . . . At the roots of competitiveness are the institutional and microeconomic policy arrangements that create conditions under which businesses can emerge and thrive, and individual creativity and effort are rewarded.
(October 2011) Exports from Ireland have risen in nominal terms by 48% in the decade 2001-2010 but jobs in the sector are back to 1998 levels. Despite both progress and the lack of it, official spin remains the constant which obfuscates the reality... An EU survey of more than 16,000 small and medium size companies (SMEs, < 250 employees) found that in Estonia, 23% of companies generated turnover from exports, Slovenia: 21%, Finland: 19%, Denmark: 17% and Ireland 11%. The proportion of SME revenue generated from exports in 2005 was Belgium: 15%, Estonia: 12%, Slovenia: 11%, Iceland: 10% and Ireland: 4.2%.
(October 2011) Average annual sick leave in the Irish private sector is almost double the level in the private sector - - 6 days compared with 11 days in the public service.. . The average number of sick days taken by each Clerical Officer was 16 days...The Department of Education and Science reported that absence among post-primary teachers was an average of 10.5 days in the period 2007/2008 (along with politicians, teachers have the lowest number of workdays in the workforce)... At Ennis General Hospital in Co Clare, absenteeism levels are running at 9.43%, leaving it struggling to cope with an average of 22 missing staff from its 238 workforce daily.
(October 2011) The shale gas boom may not have got as much attention as alternatives to fossil fuels in recent times but it's big news in the US and increasingly elsewhere, in particular in Europe. Fracking has entered the popular lexicon and environmental groups together with NIMBYs are preparing to battle drillers. While Germany in 2011 met all anti-nuclear power protest demands by agreeing to shut down the industry, nuclear power dominant France has banned fracking. So people can choose what scares them and in Ireland, a public meeting has already been held in County Leitrim about feared shale gas exploration near Lough Allen and the NIMBYs have already drawn a line in the sand before one sod has been turned. While environmental issues are important, it's unlikely that anyone turned up in an ass and cart - - natural gas and petroleum are going to continue to be in demand in Leitrim and elsewhere, as long as the risks mainly reside elsewhere.
(October 2011) Global food consumption is expected to double by 2050, with the world’s population forecast to grow by over 40% - - an extra 2.7bn people - - coupled with an increase in the demand for higher protein diets as the emerging markets become wealthier. At the same time, production/supply is expected to shrink, with pressure from a wide range of factors including urbanisation, climate change, the demand for bio fuels and rising input costs. Ireland produces enough food to feed 36m people. By 2020, it wants to be in a position to provide enough food for 50m people.
(October 2011) Common groupthink suggests that a currency devaluation provides a convenient means for a country to generate more exports by making its goods cheaper. But is it a panacea for simple minds?...In the 10 years before Italy joined the single currency the official unemployment rate was over 13%, which was only marginally better than today’s 15.8%. This suggests that labour market problems may be compounded by the euro, but not caused by it. Similarly, Southern Italy suffers from endemic unemployment. On average about 15% of the working age population is currently unemployed compared with just below 7% in the north. Again, the EMU (European Monetary Union) membership has not substantially increased the number of unemployed from the time when Italy could depreciate the lira at will in order to gain competitiveness.
(October 2011) Over 40% of Irish owner-occupied houses had no mortgage (40.8%) in 2009 compared with 9.2% in the Netherlands, 12.9% in Sweden and 13.5% in Denmark -- three of Europe's most stable small economies. The mortgage level was 25.5% in the UK… UK’s Policy Exchange think-tank, has argued that the Irish planning system creates too many ‘starter homes’, of often mediocre quality on monotonous estates, and allows insufficient quantities of larger, better quality properties. The lack of better properties has fuelled house price inflation, it argued, so that the high headline housebuilding figures gave a misleading picture of the true supply situation.
(October 2011) Recent US research shows that startups - - firms up to 1 year old - - and young firms - - 1-5 years old - - have crucial roles in the job creation process.. .The jobs created by startups when they come into existence do not disappear overnight. In fact, they are remarkably durable. When a given cohort of startups reaches age five, their employment level is 80% of what it was when it began. So there is a 50% survival rate to year 5 and the number of jobs is just down one-fifth from the start of year zero.