Tesco’s illusory jobs
14 July, 2010
The economic bulls**t was everywhere today as newspapers, radio and other media unquestioningly trumpeted Tesco Ireland’s press release claim that it “will create 748 jobs” as a result of opening “seven new stores as part of a €113 million investment in the Republic”.
Come on guys, this is lazy journalism of the worst kind. You are not paid just to regurgitate press releases without adding some analysis (or maybe you are?)
According to the Irish Times, Minister for Enterprise Batt O’Keeffe said the investment underpinned the company’s commitment to Ireland and added momentum to the Government’s economic recovery plan. He is quoted as saying that “the investment shows that this is not a jobless recovery. Our recovery is built on prudent Government fiscal and economic policies, indigenous entrepreneurship and continued investments from the multinational sector”.
I wonder if the Minister actually believes the stuff he spouts?
And, not surprisingly, Tesco made similar claims, with its chief executive Tony Keohane asserting that the investment would benefit consumers and create jobs at a difficult time for the Irish economy: “there will be a significant boost in local employment in terms of 748 new jobs at a time when Ireland needs to get people into work”.
The fact is, the new shops that Tesco will open will result, on a net overall national basis, on little or no jobs. For we already have far too many shops of all kinds in this country, thanks to the follies of the Celtic Tiger, and adding new Tesco stores will just hasten the demise of a load of other retailers and the associated jobs.
In reality I suspect that, in the retail sector at least, the overall number of jobs will actually decline, because I would assume that Tesco are relatively more efficient in the number of staff it requires to sell a given value of goods to consumers.